Shoreline begins consultation on future of nine tower blocks threatened with demolition
Shoreline flats of Washdyke Lane, Immingham. Pictured is Brigsley House (Image: Jon Corken)
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 12 Jul 2017
Shoreline has begun consultation on the future of nine more tower blocks at Immingham's Washdyke Lane estate, which could be flattened.
The blocks of flats at risk of demolition are Bradley House, Habrough House, Hatcliffe House, Healing House, Humberston House, Irby House, Ravendale House, Waltham House and Wold Newton House, with the blocks at only around 50 per cent occupancy.
Shoreline say that the rented flats are "unpopular" and occupancy levels have sloped away over the years, causing the blocks to start costing the company more to keep them, than Shoreline makes back in rent payments.
Shoreline flats of Washdyke Lane, Immingham Great Coates House (Image: Jon Corken)
Housing officers considered declining demand, high tenancy turnover, outdated accommodation in need of modernisation when deciding to enter consultation, as announced last year.
The consultation is the second phase of Shoreline proposals to cut back on the number of blocks of flats in North East Lincolnshire, and the first phase resulted in three blocks being saved from demolition.
But six blocks on the Washdyke estate, Barnoldby House, Brigsley House, Hawerby House, Great Coates House, Laceby House and Weelsby House will be flattened by the end of this summer.
Brigsley House, Immingham (Image: Jon Corken)
In taking the drastic step to flatten what could be a possible 16 blocks of flats in total, Shoreline independent advisor to the board, Tony Bramley, has made a pledge to reinvest any cash recouped in to creating attractive and affordable homes for people to live in.
As well as plugging the cash deficit, Shoreline hopes to fulfil ambitions of being able to offer "good quality housing" for all its residents in the future with this second phase, with the tower blocks now deemed to be largely undesirable for renters. Only 48 of the 100 or so flats are currently occupied.
The consultation will end in September, with results expected in October, but in the meantime, Shoreline officials will speak with each household individually about their thoughts on the plans.
If the engagement with residents results in enough blocks being flattened, Shoreline hopes to build a mixed and affordable housing development at the site.
And Mr Bramley, says that sort of development would "enhance the town".
He said: "It's about offering good quality housing. If these flats were popular, we wouldn't be heading down this route, but they're not.
"The blocks are costing us money in the long term and we think that Immingham would be a successful site for new houses.
"We are responding to the fact that these flats are difficult to let because they are unattractive. The tenants have voted with their feet.
"The area is an excellent central location for a new community that would promote the town and drive up property value in the area."
If the result of the consultation leads Shoreline to decide to keep some of the flats up and running, Mr Bramley added that money saved on flattening the rest would be reinvested in redeveloping the remaining flats.
Shoreline claim that to keep and maintain the Washdyke Estate blocks, it would cost them an estimated £30.2million over the next 30 years, with an estimated income of £26.3million – a loss of £3.9million.
Shoreline flats of Washdyke Lane, Immingham. Ravendale House (Image: Jon Corken)
Mr Bramley, added: "It's about a transition from the old to the new, to provide fit for purpose properties for many years.
"We want to completely eliminate rent losses and want to make the town a nice place to live.
"It's a chance to create communities. People want neighbours and we want places where people want to be for a long time."
Affected residents have been informed of the proposal and consultation has begun with residents, partner organisations, voluntary groups and the wider community.
The consultation launches today and will close on Tuesday, September 12.
If the proposal does not go ahead, Shoreline will consider alternative proposals and carry out further consultation.