Affordable homes at wasteland site

Homes are being built on the site of the former Shell garage, Leyland Lane
Homes are being built on the site of the former Shell garage, Leyland Lane

Work has now started to build much-needed affordable homes on Leyland wasteland.

Ten two-bedroom houses and four one-bedroom apartments are being built on the old Shell garage site on Leyland Lane, and work is expected to be complete by this time next year.

The properties are being built by Melrose Construction and will be managed by the town’s New Progress Housing Association.

Bernie Keenan, executive director of housing, community and support services for New Progress Housing, said: “We are delighted that work has started to develop 14 homes on Leyland Lane, which will provide much-needed affordable housing and greatly improve the local environment.”

Planning permission was granted by South Ribble Council’s planning committee in February this year, and the development is expected to be completed by December 2014.

It will cost a total of £1.7million, and the Homes and Communities Agency has awarded a grant of £330,000 towards the cost.

Coun Jane Bell, who represents the Earnshaw Bridge ward, said: “There is a great shortage of affordable housing in Leyland, so it’s a positive thing this work is taking place.

“It’s also nice to see an area of wasteland being redeveloped in the town.”

A public footpath, which ran across the site between Leyland Lane and Earnshaw Drive, was closed a number of years ago following complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour.

But requests have been made by members of the public to reopen the footpath, and a decision over its future is expected to be made at the end of the year by Lancashire County Council.

The estate has been designed to accommodate the reopening of the footpath if it is approved by the council.

Coun Bell added: “I have been approached by people at both ends of the ginnel wanting it to be reopened over the past few years.

“A decision is set to be made by the county council now, so it’s out of our hands.

“I’m pleased it’s being looked into.”