Talks continue to decide future of bungalow site

Photo Neil Cross'Work starts at controversial bungalow on the junv=ction of Liverpool Road and Queensway, Penwortham
Photo Neil Cross'Work starts at controversial bungalow on the junv=ction of Liverpool Road and Queensway, Penwortham
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Passersby have been stopping a bungalow owner in the street after work started clearing the highly-debated site.

Plans have been passed to demolish the 100-year-old property in Liverpool Road, Penwortham, and replace it with four offices and flats, despite opposition from residents.

But in March Greg Bamber, chairman of the Caring Hands group based next door, revealed he was in talks to turn the site into an eight bed dementia respite centre with a walk-in hub offering support for families. At the same time owner Martin Fitzsimmons vowed the original building would stay intact, however the site is developed.

But despite diggers moving onto the site and mounds of earth shifted, the fate of the site is still to be decided.

Mr Fitzsimmons said: “We’ve moved a lot of material out of the garden to make it safe for whatever we end up doing with it, but at the moment, nothing has been decided. It’s an investment to me and whatever we do with it has to stack up on paper.

“One route is more lucrative than another, but I’m prepared to take a hit if the respite unit stacks up - it would be a great resource for Penwortham.”

He added: “To be fair to Greg, he’s had an awful lot of support for the idea and people have been stopping me in the street having seen the clearance work, wondering if it’s all going ahead now.

“But at the moment nothing’s sorted, though Greg has arranged for me to attend a meeting in the next few days, so hopefully we can get something done.”

Mr Bamber confirmed he was still in talks over his vision.

He said: “There is so much passion for it locally. It will be a terrible shame if that building becomes shops.”