A flagship housing project in Morecambe’s historic West End has been completed with a thumbs up from locals - but residents hope developers finish the job and go through with plans for a second development next year.
The £5.7m West End One development, designed and built by PlaceFirst, has transformed dilapidated former guest houses in the West End into a range of family homes built around a courtyard.
PlaceFirst are now developing plans for West End Two on an adjacent site between Chatsworth Road and Balmoral Road. Proposals for the refurbishment project are currently being developed and PlaceFirst aim to be on site in early 2017.
But residents of Albert Road who overlook some of the dilapidated properties which have yet to be developed fear the project will not happen due to the length of time it has taken. Alan and Lesley Cain have lived on Albert Road for 12 years. Lesley said: “It has all ground to a halt. As soon as the properties are let, they should get on with this. They have done a good job but they have done the easiest first. The worst is yet to come. We like to have a nice house but the atrocity over there is horrendous.”
Steve Swithin of Albert Road said: “It’s been like this for 14 years so if they make a start in 2017, hopefully things will improve. It has taken such a long time, other projects seem to have taken a priority over this project. I think they have done quite a nice job but my question would be when are you going to start on the second block?”
Coun Janice Hanson, cabinet member with responsibility for planning & regeneration at Lancaster City Council, said: “This has been a longstanding project for the city council and the finished housing has certainly been worth all the hard work that has taken place behind the scenes to make it a reality.“
PlaceFirst managing director, David Smith-Milne, said: “Since we completed the first homes in March earlier this year, we have had tremendous interest in West End One.
“The properties offer a new quality standard in private rent, delivering aspirational, energy efficient homes backed up by a dedicated landlord service with transparent tenures and low fees.
“We are really pleased with the interest in West End One and expect the remaining homes to be fully let within the next few weeks.
“The West End is a vibrant, historic neighbourhood close to the beach and town centre and, with the imminent completion of the new Heysham-M6 road link, Morecambe will benefit from improved regional connectivity which can only have a positive impact on the future of the town.”