Friday, 26 April 2013

new social housing scheme opened -at last

Back in 2010
Richard in the same place today

I some times think I've pushed and pushed for too long arguing that the derelict land site off Upper Aughton Rd should be developed, but today it all seemed worth while when I went to the opening.

It all started back in 2009 when I was canvassing the street and people kept pointing out to me that the site had been boarded up for ages. They only thing that had changed was that the council had put up a sign proclaiming 'Coming Soon' . Well it didn't, and not unreasonably the locals were fed up. The council reacted to my complaints by taking down the sign with their name on it  'not us gov, honest' That was not my intention, I had hoped that they would kick start the housing association into action. They didn't.

The then owners of the site Servite Housing then got into difficulties and abandoned the NW and transferred the site to another Housing Association in Leigh. We were in the midst of the crash and it was clear that building housing especial social housing was key to recovery-it still is. My colleague Richard Hand and I decided that we needed action so we took ourselves off to Leigh back in February 2010, I told the story on the blog back then. Finally, finally we got some action and planning permission went in and today the site was officially declared open with John Pugh planting a flowering cherry tree to mark the occasion.

some of the new resident -including staff at the Southport Hospital
John and Councillors (I put on the same tie as 2010!)
The new site is name after the old Birkdale Brewery which I am told (by Maureen Fearn)  closed down during the war-that is WW2. There are so many councillors because the site although in Birkdale, is in the Kew Ward and all six of us have taken up case work to do with the site.

It is good when a campaign come off-let us hope we have equal success with some other sites we have identified, although I trust the gestation period will not be as long
some of the new homes

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