Big step forward to bring empty homes back into use

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has appointed a preferred developer to create much needed new homes in the heart of Liverpool.

Fortis Developments Limited has been chosen by property owners the HCA to transform Merebank, Greenbank Drive, to create 78 market sale and rent homes.

Detailed planning permission has been submitted to Liverpool City Council for determination. The scheme will comprise a mix of, one, two and three bedroom apartments over fifteen floors. Subject to approval, work will start in October this year and will take 12 months to complete.

The property sits within Sefton Park Conservation Area and has been largely unoccupied for a number of years. The redevelopment of Merebank will bring an empty tower block back into use and complement the surrounding area. The new homes will suit buyers at different stages and will be good for first-time buyers, couples and families.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “It’s great news that plans are moving forward for this scheme. The appointment of Fortis Developments is an important step forward in the transformation of Merebank.

“This is an exciting scheme which, pending planning approval has the potential to make a real difference to the area, breathing new life into the tower block and providing a good mix of quality housing for local people.”

Deborah McLaughlin, Executive Director for the North West at the HCA, said: “We have selected Fortis Developments with the confidence that they will create a much needed new look to Merebank which will benefit the area.

“This is an important project which will create nearly 80 new homes where demand for quality housing is high, and bringing these empty homes back to life will be great news for the local community.”

Kieran Moore of Fortis Developments said: “Fortis Developments are delighted to have been selected by the HCA as the preferred developer for the refurbishment project at Merebank Tower, Sefton Park. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring a vacant building in disrepair back to life which will only help enhance the area and the local amenity.

“Fortis Developments intend to carry out a full renovation of the existing apartment block to form a mix of one, two and three bedroom luxury apartments including a full overhaul of the external facades. The development will provide on-site parking with landscaped gardens set within a secure gated environment and is scheduled for completion by October 2014.”