Suspended works on the £15 million Woodnook housing development are set to resume within weeks after a new main contractor was appointed.
Bosses from developer PlaceFirst have announced they are currently in ‘detailed discussions’ with a new main contractor to complete the works who should be in place by next month.
The Observer revealed earlier this month how the scheme to transform 131 empty Victoria homes into energy efficient properties was delayed after the main contractors went into administration.
Greendale was appointed by developers PlaceFirst to carry out building and transformation work on Phase One of the scheme in Accrington.
However, the project was delayed when Greendale’s parent company Southdale Limited, a Yorkshire-based building firm specialising in affordable homes, entered administration.
AlixPartners, who are still handling Southdale’s administration, moved to secure the Woodnook site and all work temporarily stopped.
PlaceFirst said they have now started ‘limited contractual works on site as an interim measure’ to minimise any delays on the overall construction programme.
The developer said it remains ‘fully committed to the completion of this important regeneration project’ and a formal anouncement will be made ‘as soon as contractual agreements are confirmed’.
David Smith-Milne, managing director of Manchester-based PlaceFirst, said: “As a construction company operating throughout the North of England, Southdale being placed in administration affects not only PlaceFirst’s development at Woodnook but a substantial number of other schemes.
“We feel genuine sympathy for all of the subcontractors on our site that have been hit hard by this news but are unfortunately unable to assist them because their contractual relationship is with Southdale.
“We would like to assure all our customers due to move into their homes at Woodnook in June that we are working hard to appoint a new contractor as soon as possible to avoid any significant delays to the completion and handover of the properties.”
Council leader Miles Parkinson said there will only be a ‘slight delay’.
He said: “We are grateful PlaceFirst are looking to secure a new contractor in such a short time to keep the same high quality of work.
"This is regeneration in an important part of Accrington.”