£22m Layton housing masterplan hit by delays

Progress at Queens Park on the first year anniversary of the final three towers being demolished.
Progress at Queens Park on the first year anniversary of the final three towers being demolished.
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Phase two of the Queens Park housing redevelopment is due to be completed in November this year – several months later than expected.

It is now just over two years since the remaining three tower blocks on the Layton site were detonated to make way for the new homes.

Developer Lovell was due to finish the project in spring of this year, but construction has over-run.

Once completed, the £22m investment will have seen nearly 200 homes built on the site which was home to five blocks of high rise flats.

The delay was revealed by Blackpool Coastal Housing (BCH) in its business report for 2018/19.

A BCH spokesman said: “The date for completion is November 2018.

“There isn’t an impact on tenants in the sense no-one has been promised a property and is waiting for one. We only start that process a month before completion.”

The report sets out challenges for the coming year which as well as completing Queens Park, also include providing homes for key workers and reviewing unpopular stock with some flats on Mereside potentially earmarked for demolition. The arms length company, owned by Blackpool Council, warns in the report that housing has “moved up the political agenda” partly due to the “increasingly dysfunctional market” and the “very specific tragedy at Grenfell Tower”.

It adds it will be important to ensure BCH “delivers good quality, safe services”. Among the challenges ahead is identifying properties which would be suitable for keyworkers recruited from overseas by Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Options for remodelling sheltered housing at Dunsop Court, off Ansdell Road, are being considered to make the facility more cost effective.

A review of properties on Mereside could see 81 flats on Troutbeck Crescent demolished because they are difficult to let.

In other areas, properties are being added to the stock including nine at Grange Park at no cost although work will be required to bring them up to standard.

The report also says over the last two years costs associated with having properties empty, while the time it takes to re-let a property are now below the 20 day target.