West Lancashire Borough Council has taken big steps forward in its plans to build new homes in Skelmersdale to meet the requirements of modern families.
Funding is now in place for exciting plans to build up to 44 new homes on the Firbeck estate after an agreement was reached with the Department for Communities and Local Government.
This will be only the second batch of new Council homes built in West Lancashire in nearly 20 years. The last were ones built on Elmstead, Tanhouse, which were completed in 2011.
An outline planning application was approved by the Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday 9 October. Work is now underway in the preparation of a detailed planning application for the proposed development which is likely to be a mixture of two and three-bedroom houses and one-bedroom flats.
Building work on the new homes is due to start next year, once all the planning permissions have been obtained.
Councillor Jane Houlgrave, portfolio holder for Housing, said: “I am really pleased that such good progress is being made on our exciting plans for new homes in Firbeck. We are now working with the architects on the finer details of what will be a lovely development to provide much needed homes for West Lancashire people.”
The proposed new homes are part of the £8m Firbeck Revival scheme which forms part of the wider Skelmersdale Town Centre Regeneration Project. The new homes would be built on land left empty following demolition of unpopular three-storey flats.
Council-owned properties have already benefitted from new kitchens and bathrooms and external works are now well underway which are already transforming the appearance of the estate. Houses are being fitted with new roofs, double-glazed uPVC windows and doors and loft insulation. Outside, they have a fresh new look thanks to external wall insulation, new canopies over the front doors, and the removal of brick bin stores. To complete the transformation fencing will also be replaced to many homes to further enhance the appearance of the estate and ensure security.
It is anticipated this phase of work on the Firbeck Revival project will be completed during 2014.
The Firbeck Revival project was drawn up following consultation with tenants and residents who told us how they wanted their homes to be improved. The Council is already receiving feedback from people who are delighted with Firbeck’s new look.
All private home owners on Firbeck are sharing the Council’s vision and have taken up a Council grant (which is repayable once properties are sold) to have some or all of these improvements carried out to their homes.
Councillor Houlgrave added: “Tenants told us what improvements they wanted, and now we are delivering those improvements. I’m delighted that this long-awaited project is turning out to be a great success.”
Birch Green Ward Councillor Neil Pye said: “When completed, the improvements to Firbeck and Findon will make a huge difference in the quality of life for both tenants and residents. The external insulation works will generate savings to their fuel bills. Also, the regeneration of these estates will be a massive boost to Skelmersdale and West Lancashire.”
Councillor Lucy Hodson, another Birch Green ward councillor, said: “New homes would really enhance the area and I am pleased good progress is being made on this part of the scheme.”