Questions raised over state of bungalow building site

Liverpool Road, Penwortham
Liverpool Road, Penwortham
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A row has erupted over the appearance of a controversial building site.

Penwortham Councillor David Howarth claims he has received a number of complaints from members of the public about a bungalow at 42 Liverpool Road, which is in the process of being turned into a wine bar and retail unit.

Coun Howarth claims that work appears to have stalled since permission was granted in March, leaving the area an “eyesore”

But owner Martin Fitzsimmons said that although there has been a delay over unexpected roof work, plans are well underway and development should begin within weeks.

Coun Howarth said: “I’ve had a number of people contacting me about 42 Liverpool Road.

“The owner has taken one of the most beautiful garden areas on Liverpool Road and turned it into a derelict bombsite.

“When the council has put planters out and is trying to make the business area more attractive, this is dragging it down.

“It doesn’t look like anything is happening. If people could see there was some progress, it wouldn’t be so bad.”

Permission was given for the building work in March after a previous vision for three shops and a wine bar was thrown out over the impact on neighbouring houses. Hope for a dementia respite unit on the site were scrapped over funding issues.

Martin Fitzsimmons, who owns century-old Cotswold House on the corner of Liverpool Road and Queensway, said he was disappointed Coun Howarth had not spoken to him about the concerns.

He said: “We have had unexpected delays over the roof. We’re having to completely replace it at great expense because we can’t get it up to today’s standards, so we have had to go back to the architect and get quotes in.

“I hadn’t expected to have to do this, and I certainly don’t want the property not giving me any return, but we want to do it properly.

“We also want to keep the work with a local builder and have quotes from Penwortham and Leyland firms.

“When it’s done, it will be all-singing, all-dancing. It will be a better project and an asset to the area.”