More flats enhance £3.5m housing plan

�3.5m development at Knott End
�3.5m development at Knott End
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A TROUBLED £3.5m housing development on the Over Wyre coastline will be back before a planning committee next week.

Plans for a three-storey, 34 apartment block in Knott End were approved by Wyre Council in 2007.

But residents expressed concerns when work on the prestigious waterfront development came to a halt less than a year later and has remained unfinished ever since.

Developers, Bolton-based Hurstwood Group, said work had stopped when part of its company went into administration following problems on another site.

Now an application for the addition of six apartment blocks, including the change of use of offices to two residential units, will go before Wyre Council’s planning committee on Wednesday.

In supporting documentation, a spokesman for PWL Architects, designers of the scheme, said it was keen to restart work on the site which overlooks Wyre estuary next to the Bourne Arms pub.

It said more flats had been added to ensure the scheme is viable and the apartments are available at an affordable price.

Coun Phil Orme said Preesall Council had been against the development from the start but now had concerns the site will remain an eyesore.

He said: “Anything is better than what is there now, we understand that and I hope we see movement soon, either a completion or demolition.

“Of course we would still prefer to see the area turned into a giant picnic spot but it likely the additional plans will be approved.

“My main concern now is traffic, I hope there will be sufficient car parking to prevent any overspill and I hope the structure is checked as there is a lot of steel that has been exposed for some time.”

Preesall mayor Coun Viv Taylor said she believed the condition of the flats was putting off tourists visiting Knott End.

She added: “They should get on and finish it or knock it down, it’s an eyesore.”

A Hurstwood spokesman said: “We intend to complete the superstructure of the scheme, complete two individual show apartments and offer it to the market.

“The concern over the steel frame that has ‘been exposed to the elements over the past few years’ has all been checked by structural engineers and is completely fine.

“If our planning application is successful we hope to begin work this summer with the first apartments ready for autumn 2013.”