£8m housing scheme is delayed by review

A major £8m sheltered housing scheme on the Fylde coast has been delayed by almost a year.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2016, 5:02 pm
An artists' impression of major sheltered housing scheme, Wansbeck House in Fleetwood, which will cost around £8 million, it has been revealed.

Homes provider Regenda Housing’s ambitious project to triple the size of Wansbeck House on Chatsworth Avenue, Fleetwood, was due to get underway at the start of this year.

But the housing group has confirmed work on the project, which will take around 18 months to finish, has been put back until October at the earliest, pending the outcome of a government review into housing benefits for those in sheltered housing.

This follows an announcement in January that the Government would delay a housing benefit cap for supported housing until the end of its review.

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The Fleetwood site currently provides 25 flats for older people under a scheme known as Extra Care.

Regenda, one of the north west’s largest independent housing associations, will replace the existing building and provide more modern facilities with 72 flats, therapy rooms, a lounge, and function rooms.

A Regenda spokesman said: “We are awaiting the outcome of a Government review into benefits in the supported housing sector, which is expected to be completed in the summer.

“If the Government goes ahead with its plans for a housing benefits caps for those in supported housing, there will be a gap between what residents can claim in housing benefit and the cost of running the service.”

The spokesman said the future of the scheme would be considered after the review was complete.

The ambitious housing scheme was planned in partnership with Wyre Council, Lancashire County Council, and the Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Some 75 letters of objection, including from residents of nearby The Croft, were presented to planners, citing concerns over disruption caused by any building work, but Wyre planners gave the scheme the green light.

One of the protesters, Alan Johnson, of The Croft, Fleetwood, said: “This building is too big and out of keeping with the neighbourhood and I wish they had listened to local people.”