Vandalised centre to face bulldozers

Hoyle House, Argosy Avenue, Grange Park,

Hoyle House, Argosy Avenue, Grange Park,

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A former respite centre which has become a target for vandalism since it closed is to be bulldozed.

Hoyle House on Argosy Avenue, Grange Park, has been earmarked for demolition by council chiefs.

Councillor Gillian Campbell

Councillor Gillian Campbell

The centre closed in 2013 with the service being scaled back and relocated to Mansfield House in Layton.

Coun Gillian Campbell, who represents Park ward which includes Grange Park, said: “There have been a few instances of vandalism at the Hoyle House site, which has been empty for a number of years.

“Any vacant building can be a target for vandals and damage, therefore it is safer to demolish the structure while we decide on the future of the site.

“I’d like to think that the local residents will be pleased to see an end of the empty building that was attracting anti-social behaviour.

“We also hope to be able to deal with the Christ the King site, as soon as the hibernating bats vacate the buildings in the spring.”

An application has been submitted to the council seeking permission for the demolition to go ahead.

A report accompanying the application says: “There have been a number of offers from various parties to take over the building; however none of the offers were seen as viable.

“Since the building has been vacant it has suffered repeated vandalism and is serving as a focus for anti-social behaviour in the area and there is a genuine fear that the property may suffer severe damage in the future.

“The property is also costing the council money in order to keep secure and repair damage.”

Hoyle House was built around 1969 and had around 20 beds providing respite care for people including elderly residents leaving hospital.

It was first singled out for closure by the Conservatives when they were in town hall control in 2011, but was saved when Labour came to power later that year.

However the centre became a victim of council cuts in 2013 and has been closed ever since.

In 2014, a group called His Provision, which is part of Fylde Coast Churches Alive, made a bid to take over the building to provide a residential centre for people down on their luck.

It wanted to provide lodgings, personal support and skills training to help people get back into work.

But the council rejected the proposals because it did not want a refuge of that kind which would attract too many people with social problems to Blackpool.

The Hoyle House respite service now based at Mansfield House is currently under review for outsourcing to the private sector.

Christ the King Church on Grange Park has been relocated as part of the redevelopment of St Mary’s RC College.