Council explains work at derelict building site off Devonshire Road

Network Rail has taken over the site, off Coopers Way
Network Rail has taken over the site, off Coopers Way
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Workmen have returned to a North Shore building site dubbed a ‘vandal’s playground’ – but they won’t be finishing the derelict, half-built homes there

Five unfinished houses in Warbreck Gardens – opposite the biscuit factory in Devonshire Road – have been empty since construction firm Chelford Properties Ltd went into administration in 2012.

Residents walking past the site in recent days will have noticed a hive of activity but a council spokeswoman has quashed their hopes of seeing the homes finished – or even knocked down.

She said: “The activity that can be seen is related to Network Rail. The space is being used as a compound by them as they undergo the electrification of the railway.”

Locals were hopeful when a new company took over the project, with the promise that Warbreck Gardens would soon be a top-notch housing estate, The Gazette revealed two years ago.

But the site continued to have unfinished houses still bearing smashed roof tiles, broken windows, and graffiti on the walls.

One Cooper’s Way resident who did not want to be named said: “The houses that you can see from Devonshire Road have windows smashed and roof tiles coming off and they just look derelict and a mess. It looks horrendous. It’s been that way for years.”

As part of Network Rail’s £1bn Great North Rail Project, work continues to complete the upgrade and electrification of the railway between Preston and Blackpool is being carried out at night.

The firm has acknowledged the disruption to people’s lives, and thanked residents for their patience.