Eyesore flats to be razed for regeneration scheme

Flats on Blake Close, Worsley Mesnes
Flats on Blake Close, Worsley Mesnes

A block of Wigan flats is set to be flattened next month as part of a council regeneration scheme.

The vacant apartments on Blake Close in Worsley Mesnes could be demolished as soon as next month to make way for a development which will include new homes and amenities.

We have a long-term ambition to improve the Worsley Mesnes area for residents with significant regeneration investment

Coun David Molyneux

Town hall bosses have said that the demolition of the estate is part of a plan to deliver “long-term improvements” in the area.

Marie Bintley, assistant director for growth and housing, said: “We are committed to providing high-quality, sustainable and safe homes for our tenants and residents.

“Blake Close had been empty for some time and there was a low demand for the properties. There was also a lot of maintenance work required to fully refurbishment and some of the properties had already been partly demolished.

“For these reasons it was more cost effective to demolish the block and replace with new homes in the future.

“We want our tenants to have top quality, affordable homes and that’s why we’ve invested in a number of new schemes across the borough, such as Ridings Close, which we will continue to do.

“The Blake Close site will now be incorporated into the wider regeneration of the Worsley Mesnes area for which an outline masterplan has been prepared.”

Wigan Council has awarded a £139,000 contract for the job which comprises the complete demolition of 37-71 (flats), and 73-89 (office) Blake Close.

Two blocks, over three storeys, together with a block of garages in traditional construction will be knocked down and all service installations at the properties will be ended.

Proposals for the area include 278 new homes, remodelling of streets, improved green space and a new ‘heart’ for Worsley Mesnes including shops, community space and a neighbourhood square.

Investment so far by the council has included targeted demolitions and home improvements to provide a platform for wider regeneration.

The masterplan has been designed by neighbourhood masterplanning specialists Gillespies, supported by Cushman & Wakefield.

The team has worked closely with the council, the HCA, developers and residents through workshops, drop-in sessions and engagement with young people to develop the plan.

Engagement with young people has focused attention on the importance of the environment and safe and attractive open spaces to support good health for future generations of residents.

Coun David Molyneux, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We have a long-term ambition to improve the Worsley Mesnes area for residents with significant regeneration investment.

“The views of residents and other groups and organisations within the local community form a vital part in getting the regeneration of the estate right.”

The consultation phase, which was launched in June last year, has now closed.

Nine years ago Blake Close was the scene of a terrible gas explosion deliberately set by a resident who was later hospitalised indefinitely. Two men were badly burnt, one of them later dying from his injuries.