Spring 2019 deadline as Grange Park flats plan is held up

Plans to build seven specialist supported housing flats on the site of a former residential centre are moving ahead.

Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 8:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 8:36 am
The former Hoyle House site in Grange Park

But Blackpool Council is now proposing changes to the original plans for the homes, for people with learning difficulties, to ensure they are completed by the March 2019 deadline.

The seven flats, and a further 11 general needs homes for rent, are set to be built on the former Hoyle House site on Grange Park, which was demolished in 2016.

While the council has already been awarded £645,000 towards the specialist flats by the Department of Health, the scheme is subject to the end of March timetable.

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And although further grant funding is being sought from Homes England to assist with developing the other 11 homes, it is proposed that the seven-housing project be completed first.

The original plan – to sell the site to Progress Housing Group so it could develop the seven homes – has now been shelved due to unexpected delays.

The deal would have seen the Argosy Road site sold to Progress with a 99-year lease in return for payment of £150,000.

Instead, the flats will be developed by Blackpool Coastal Housing on behalf of the council. The plans went before the council’s executive committee on Monday.

An officer’s report states: “The council intended to work with Progress Housing Group because of their background in developing housing with support for residents with learning disabilities.

“But it has taken longer than expected to agree the terms of the land sale and funding agreement with Progress, delaying the scheme starting on site.

“The Department of Health has confirmed that the funding is still available, but that the specialist accommodation for people with learning disabilities must be completed by the end of March 2019.

“It is proposed that to ensure that the scheme moves forward quickly the council develops the new homes itself rather than passing on the funding and selling the land to Progress Housing Group.”