Outcry over Lancaster’s Kingsway refurb plans

Kingsway flats, Lancaster.
Kingsway flats, Lancaster.

Plans for a £500k refurbishment of a controversial building have riled up the public.

A major revamp to Lancaster’s Kingsway flats has come under fire with many saying the building needs to be demolished.

Some have said the half a million pound makeover to the former bus depot is a “waste of money” and have compared the building to a spaceship and Weetabix breakfast cereal.

Kenny Jole commented on Faecbook: “What a waste of money. Leave it as it is. It is done now.”

Julie Hartley said: “It’s ugly, needs pulling down.”

Yvonne Casson said: “Should be knocked down with that stupid bridge...looks like a giant Weetabix.”

Jim Turner said: “Talk about an eyesore even the colour.”

New owners Irwell Valley Housing say they will not change outside appearances but will look at corrosion to steelwork and will work to improve communal areas, walkways and the internal courtyard.

Despite disagreements on social media one Kingsway resident said they think it is a great idea.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I think it is great that the building is getting a refurb as some areas are looking a little tired.

“It’s a fab location and within walking distance of so much that Lancaster has to offer.”

The Grade 2 listed building was rebuilt seven years ago and includes 100 one and two bedroom apartments.

Work is scheduled to take place in August and should be completed by the end of the year. The company have said there will be no disruption to roads and aim to keep disruption to residents to a minimum.

Michael Redford, managing director, at Irwell Valley Housing said: “This is a significant investment that will benefit residents and improve features to this iconic landmark.”

The Kingsway flats once housed Lancaster’s former bus depot and Kingsway swimming baths, which were housed behind it. The development has sparked controversy over the years with many residents commenting on the building’s appearance. However the flats are loved by some residents for their location and easy access to the city centre. The development was commended and came runner up at a regional building awards ceremony in 2010.