Beechmere retirement complex destroyed in fire to be replaced

Image source, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption,
Nobody was injured in the fire in August 2019, but many residents lost everything they owned

A retirement complex that burned to the ground last year is to be replaced.

The apartments at Beechmere, Crewe, were destroyed in a blaze which swept through the timber-framed building in August 2019.

About 150 older people were affected, many of them losing all of their belongings as well as their homes.

Cheshire East Council approved a planning application to build new apartments on the site on Wednesday and developers said work could begin soon.

Developer Avantage said the new complex would have the same number of rooms and feature safety improvements such as an integrated sprinkler system, wider corridors and more masonry in the construction.

Image source, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption,
The fire spread quickly after starting in the roof

Crewe East councillor Hazel Faddes told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "We were devastated by last year's [events], and there is a shortage of suitable, secure accommodation for older generations.

"The inclusion of fire sprinklers and masonry will be big improvements to the original building."

Representing Avantage, Nigel Murray said work on the new building could begin relatively soon.

He said: "We have a contract ready to start and a price agreed with contractors.

"We want to get those residents back in their homes and want to put them back where they belong."

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