RESIDENTS got a first glimpse of how their new neighbourhood will look after a £22m redevelopment.
Neighbours and community leaders from Queen’s Park viewed plans by developer Lovell to turn the housing estate into a “village” like community.
Demolition of the high rise estate in Layton is to start in May, with the high rise flats being pulled down to make way for family homes.
And the developer put on a display of designs, street views and a timeline for the work to be carried out for residents yesterday in the community centre at Laycock Gate.
The exhibition saw a steady stream of visitors between 2pm and 7pm, but prompted mixed reactions.
Resident Mike Clague, who has lived in Walter Robinson Court for seven years and was involved with the design of the new-look neighbourhood as part of a residents group, said he was delighted with the plans.
The 59-year-old added: “I love it.
“It’ll be great, especially with all the green spaces and if we can get a new community centre. There’s real spirit round here.”
But other residents had reservations about the practicalities of moving from the 504 current flats and maisonettes to around 200 homes.
Marie McLachlin, who has lived in Walter Robinson Court for six years, said she liked the design but worried the focus was on families and left out older members of the community.
She added: “I’d like to see them have more here for older people. It’s going to be better for families but not for people on their own.”
The plans show 198 new homes, to be built around a series of tree-lined squares, comprising family houses and smaller flats.
Kevin O’Donnell, 57, also of Walter Robinson Court, said: “I can see all of Blackpool from my 18th floor flat so I’ll miss that. But the look of the area looks pretty good compared to it now. I would have like to see more details in the designs though.”
Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for housing, said: “Local residents have been involved in choosing the developer and deciding how the finished estate will look in order to keep the existing sense of community in place, so it’s great they can now see the final plans.”
People living near the estate but not involved in the redevelopment also attended the exhibition to ensure their views were heard.
Louise Gilmore, 40, of Cypress Grove, said: “It will be a vast improvement to what there is now. I have concerns about a brick wall between my property and the estate and what will happen to that. Hopefully they’ll listen to what we say.”
Coun Campbell said all views and feedback would be taken into account.
She added: “We will listen to what people have said and take on board their comments in the final proposals as much as we can.
“We are very excited about the plans and the benefit they will bring.”