Plans for ‘prison’ undergo reform

Block of flats by Kensington Developments planned in Lytham has been dubbed HMP Lytham by development control chiefs

Block of flats by Kensington Developments planned in Lytham has been dubbed HMP Lytham by development control chiefs

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A LYTHAM housing estate could become a reality after a developer overhauled plans previously slammed for looking like a prison.

Kensington Developments has had a complete rethink over its vision for the former Aegon site on Ballam Road, after a planned apartment block was branded “HMP Lytham” by angry planning chiefs.

Now, the developer wants to build just 20 houses on the plot of land, which has been vacant for nine years.

The plans show a far smaller development than the 44-flat apartment block and 29 homes originally proposed, with 16 detached houses and four mews houses now planned for the land.

And the developer said its revised drawings show it has taken Fylde Council’s planning committee’s comments on board.

Malcolm Hawe, Lytham-based Kensington Development’s chairman, said: “Following the concerns raised by councillors at the earlier planning committee we have reviewed the design proposals and have now submitted an application for 20 dwellings, including four affordable homes.

“We’re in discussions with the planning officers regarding public realm contributions.

“This is an ideal opportunity to provide sustainable, high quality housing close to the centre of Lytham.

“The development will also bring much needed investment in the local economy and employment opportunities for local people.”

When a proposal last went before planning, Kensington offered cash towards improving Lytham train station – something Fylde Council are now set to do – and public realm improvements in Lytham Square.

It is the third time the developer has applied for planning permission for the site, which was vacated when insurance firm Aegon moved all its workers to its base across the road.

In 2005, Kensington was granted permission to build offices and extra-care sheltered apartments on the site, but alongside its last application it submitted a statement which showed building offices was not economically viable.