Revised plans filed for a £ 5million plan of flats in the ‘pet cemetery’ house in Runcorn


Overhauled plans have been filed for a £ 5million block of flats for people over 55 on the site of an abandoned house in Runcorn.

General permission was granted in November to build a three-story building with 32 to 33 units on a plot of land on Irwell Lane, but Bolton-based developer Challenger Building Services has now filed plans for a large 35-apartment building.

The company said the “affordable” housing program would include 18 rear parking spaces, including three disabled spaces and two electric vehicle spaces, as well as a garden and a bicycle storage unit.

If permission is granted, the £ 5million scheme, designed by Falconer Chester Hall Architects, will provide a mix of affordable one and two-bed apartments targeting those over 55.

The project was designed for the social landlord Housing 21.

Currently, the site is occupied by an abandoned single-family home, which had built a reputation for anti-social behavior, arson and suspected drug squatting.

The vacant house on the site on Irwell Lane. (Photo: Runcorn Weekly News)

Six residents expressed concerns ahead of the Halton Borough Council decision meeting in November on the previous version of the plans.

The issues included parking, congestion, loss of view, wildlife and privacy, and allegations that housing associations are using Runcorn as a “dumping ground” and that apartments will not fit over 55s but rather become “a kind of YMCA”.

A resident also claimed that the site contained a “pet cemetery”.

Planning chiefs have given outline permission.

Challenger Building Services hopes that the revised plan will be decided by delegated authorities and speed up the project and provide “much needed local housing”.

Richard Hutchinson, CEO of Challenger, said: “The local authority has already recognized the value of the program in regenerating a major brownfield site.

“We believe that we can deliver more social value by readjusting our plans and having the full support of Housing 21.

“It’s a thoughtful and welcoming program, designed using the Building For Life 12 key and the HAPPI principles.

“We are delighted with the final design and how it enhances the existing streetscape. “

Mike Gore, Director of Falconer Chester Hall, said: “The proposed development sits on prominent corner lot and its design was influenced by existing contextual features.

“We have incorporated soldier courses above the windows and balconies that punctuate the elevation, while a carefully considered material palette ensures that the building will complement its surroundings. “

Irwell Lane is in Runcorn, Cheshire.


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