Former Pirate Radio Locations To Disappear

Pirate radio stations have used tower blocks to transmit for many years, mainly on the medium wave and, because of their height, the Medium wave pirates, (and some FM ones) have been able to achieve signal coverage to rival the legal stations.  That era is now coming to an end.  More recently, 7 Waves Community Radio, a local licensed station has transmitted from the top of Moreton Heights and will need to have their transmitter moved elsewhere.

Wirral Partnership Homes, (The Housing Association which Runs Wirral's Council housing stock) has decided to demolish more than half of Wirral's tower blocks.  Most of the blocks, built in the 1960's are in need of refurbishment, plus these types of dwellings have declined in popularity which has resulted in under occupation making them a target for antisocial behaviour.

One of the blocks earmarked for demolition

Wirral's high-rise tower blocks disappearing from skyline

1:28pm Monday 25th April 2011

By Craig Manning Wirral Globe

DEMOLITION work is underway on flats in Moreton as part of a £27m Wirral Partnership Homes' high-rise investment programme. A crane has appeared over the flats in Sandborne Road this week as part of the next phase of a project that arose from an asset management review of the association’s 15 high rise blocks in the borough.

Seven blocks are to be retained. But eight have been decommissioned and are in the process of being demolished.  Brian Seddon, senior projects manager for Wirral Partnership Homes, told the Globe: “The demolition of Sandborne started about two and a half months ago and most of it was internal.   "It’s only become noticeable now because of the appearance of the huge crane outside.”   Among the flats scheduled for demolition are buildings in Woodchurch, Tranmere and Rock Ferry.   Mr Seddon continued: “There’s a lot of work going on and this is obviously a sensitive process. "But I’m pleased to say that with the support of our specialist re-housing team the responses from tenants have generally been very positive.   “There will be a range of options considered for the vacant blocks including demolition, which is currently on-going at Sandborne and Brooklands. Any cleared sites will be considered for future provision of new build housing.   “Throughout the process we are trying to maximise the input from tenants and also to provide a range of employment and training opportunities for local people and businesses.

Tower block residents in Rock Ferry, Moreton, Woodchurch and Seacombe to be rehoused

4:49pm Thursday 23rd April 2009  By Leigh Marles, Editor  Wirral Globe

UP TO eight residential tower blocks once owned by Wirral Council are to be closed.   New owners Wirral Partnership Homes says bringing the towers up to standard, coupled with low occupancy rates, means they are no longer viable. WPH chief executive Brian Simpson has this week written to all 66 members of the council advising them of the closure plan.  He writes that existing tenants will be re-housed and will receive priority status on the waiting list . The blocks earmarked for the axe over the next one to three years are Melrose, Sandbourne, Thornridge (all Moreton), Flambards (Woodchurch) and Thorsway (Rock Ferry).   Five high rise blocks are to be refurbished: Sunningdale (Moreton), Liscard House (Liscard), Brackendale (Woodchurch) and The Towers (Tranmere) with Knowsley Court (Rock Ferry) and Neston Gardens (Birkenhead) being subject to minor remedial work and further review. Of the existing 15 blocks of flats, two are already in the process of being closed - at Mersey Court and Charter House in Seacombe.  Wirral Council decided to transfer its housing stock to WPH in 2003.   But Mr Simpson writes that it has become clear from the investigations undertaken by WPH since then that there was not sufficient allowance made in the business plan approved at the time for all the high rise flats to be brought up to a standard that would guarantee a minimum 30-year life.  That would have required investment in the region of £70m to £90m and could not have been contained within the maximum loan facility granted to WPH, he said.



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Following more detailed study of the demand for high rise housing and the continued difficulties in letting vacancies in many blocks, and the very high costs of continued management and maintenance, it has been decided that many blocks do not have a sustainable long-term future, added Mr Simpson.  He tells councillors: "The proposal agreed by [WPH] board is that it does make economic and social sense to invest in five of the 15 blocks and to consider a further two blocks in due course. "This will mean, potentially eight of the 15 blocks will be closed."  Letters to all residents in high rise flats have been sent this week explaining WPH’s decisions for their blocks.   Wirral Council's cabinet member for housing, Cllr George Davies, said that times have changed and the desire for high rise living has dwindled.

"Some of these blocks used to have long waiting lists for tenants. Now they can hardly fill them," he said.  Leasowe Conservative Cllr Ian Lewis said: "The condition of these blocks has been a time bomb for years, which explains why the council was so keen to pass the problem to Wirral Partnership Homes.   "Many of the tenants of the blocks voted in favour of the transfer because they were promised improvements would be made. We need to find out why the estimates of the costs of refurbishing these blocks were so inaccurate at the time the buildings were transferred.   "The problem we now face is that hundreds of people will need to be rehoused, across Wirral, over the next 2-3 years and, under the plans, they will be given priority.   "Taken with the increase in demand for social housing due to the recession, the knock on effect is that the people already on the waiting list will be forced to wait even longer." © Copyright 2001-2011 Newsquest Media Group  www.wirralglobe.co.uk

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