Dismay at Blackpool homes demolition plan

Don't knock down our homes - that's the plea from residents who are urging housing chiefs to re-consider plans to bulldoze council flats.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 4:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 4:51 pm
The flat belonging to Christine Casey on Troutbeck Crescent which the council have proposed to knock down. She is pictured with neighbour Margaret Edwards (right)

Proposals have been unveiled to demolish 81 mainly council properties on Troutbeck Crescent, Mereside.

But some residents say they do not want to leave and are dismayed at the decision to pursue redevelopment of the area which was agreed by Blackpool Council’s executive on Monday.

Christine Casey, 64, who has lived in her flat for more than 10 years, said: “I’ve put my own bathroom and kitchen in because I thought, this is my home where I will live for the rest of my life.

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The kitchen at Ms Casey's flat on Troutbeck Crescent

“Where are they going to put us? There won’t be enough flats available on Mereside and I don’t want to leave here.

“I think the flats need money spending on the public areas, but otherwise they are fine.

“New kitchens have been put in recently.

“It is ridiculous to think of knocking them down, and it’s very nerve-wracking and unsettling for us.”

Flats on Troutbeck Crescent which are earmarked for closure

Margaret Edwards, 82, who has lived in her flat since 1994, said: “I never expected to move, I thought this is my home now until the end of my days.

“This isn’t just about buildings, it’s about people’s homes and I would sooner have my home than the money they are offering us to relocate.

“Also, we are worried about the community here being split up.”

Blackpool Coastal Housing (BCH), which manages the properties on behalf of Blackpool Council, says the flats, which are either one-bedroom or bedsits, have become difficult to let.

They say they need investment of £3m over the next 30 years to bring them up to modern standards and claim the flats have experienced high levels of anti-social behaviour.

But Ms Casey added: “We feel very safe here and have had no anti-social behaviour.”Of the 81 flats which were built in the 1960s, 77 are rented out by BCH and 35 are empty after re-letting was stopped in late 2016.

Existing households would be rehomed and would qualify for home loss payments of £6,200.

A council report says the flats are unpopular due to small kitchens and bathrooms and costly heating systems, while work is needed to repair balconies.

Over the next 30 years, £38,427 would need to be spent on each flat to bring it up to modern standards.

Affordable housing development on the land could be supported by grants from government body Homes England.