Change on horizon as towers come down

Demolition work has begun on the Queens Park estate in Blackpool.  Neil Johnson starts work on the roof.
Demolition work has begun on the Queens Park estate in Blackpool. Neil Johnson starts work on the roof.
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They have dominated Blackpool’s skyline since the 1960s.

But work has now begun to dismantle the first two tower blocks at Queens Park which will make way for a £22m redevelopment to provide more family housing.

Developers Lovell officially began the demolition process yesterday of Ashworth Court and Charles Court, and are due to complete the work by March.

The two blocks are being taken down in sections by excavators which will dismantle the buildings over several stages.

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The Queens Park tower blocks have been an iconic point on the Blackpool skyline for decades.

“To see them go will be quite a shock but we are delighted they will be making way for a high-quality housing development that will improve Blackpool’s housing standards immeasurably.”

Residents have been moving out of the estate since the proposals to redevelop the area were first proposed in 2011.

Now only Walter Robinson Court is still occupied.

Demolition work started at the end of 2013 on the estate’s three-storey maisonettes.

It is being carried out in phases to enable construction to begin at the Talbot Road end of the site.

The first phase will see 92 new homes built, made up of 70 apartments and 22 houses, with 198 properties set to be built in total over the life of the project.

Delivery of the first homes for occupation is scheduled in stages from this summer, with the first phase due to be 
completed by March next year.

Gwen King, chairman of the Queens Park Residents Association based at Laycock Gate, said: “The high rise blocks have had their day.

“It is sad in some ways to see the towers being demolished, but progress is progress and everyone is looking forward to the lovely new homes being built in their place.”

Lovell regeneration manager Bruce Lister said: “Our team is pleased to have reached this milestone in this major redevelopment programme which will deliver modern, energy-efficient new housing for local people and their families.”