Controversial properties to be demolished

The properties on Crystal Road
The properties on Crystal Road

Two houses which sparked controversy when they were sold to Blackpool Council as part of an £180,000 property deal are to be demolished.

The properties on Crystal Road were bought by the authority from councillors Ian and Susan Fowler and later sold in a deal worth just £3.

Valuations were not correctly checked

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The plot was subsequently found to be suffering from subsidence and this week Blackpool Council planning officers rubber stamped proposals to pull down the former hotels.

The adjoining properties were bought by Blackpool Council in 2010 as part of a social housing pilot scheme.

The majority of the former hotels in Crystal Road have been converted into family homes.

But the Fowlers’ former property, bought for £180,000, was found to have serious structural issues after it was sold to housing group Great Places for £1.

The details of the sale were investigated and councillors were cleared of any wrongdoing.

However Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn has placed on record his criticism of the due dilligence carried out during the deal.

Hinting previously that the properties would have to be demolished he said: “It is clear valuations were not correctly triangulated and checked. A full structural survey would have revealed major structural deficits with 25/27 Crystal Road.“

The council leader made clear he would try to protect the public from any further losses in relation to the property.