THE opening date for a problem-plagued flagship £12.5million extra-care housing scheme for the elderly has been delayed again - this time by a leaky roof.

The building work for Albion Mill in Ewood, Blackburn, was completed in August.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's adult services boss Cllr Mustafa Desai had hoped to announce to the borough's Council Forum meeting on Thursday night that it had been handed over to the authority with the first residents moving in within days.

But instead he had to tell colleagues that there had been an unexpected further delay of a few weeks while the leaky roof was repaired.

The first residents are now expected to move in to the new home in early to mid-November.

He told the Council Forum meeting: "This is very frustrating and disappointing.

"The recent bad weather has exposed a leak in the roof and we have had water ingress into the building.

"The contractor is now sorting this out and we are in the final snagging list stage.

"We hope to have the handover in a couple of weeks time.

"The first residents should move in in early to mid-November."

Livesey with Pleasington Conservative Cllr Mark Russell said: "This is getting farcical.

"The first opening date was in Spring last year and it has been put off and put off.

"I have been round and it will be a fantastic facility."

Cllr Russell added that a friend of his who had hoped to work at Albion Mill had finally had to take a job elsewhere because of the repeated delays."

The canalside development has been hit by coronavirus and its main contractor going into administration in December 2019.

The project's original start date in 2014 was delayed and then its opening was scheduled for August 2018 and then given a new one of December 2020 before work was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic delaying it again to April this year.

It will provide 109 beds, including 50 extra care apartments, 31 en-suite rooms for intermediate care, 24 dementia apartments and four rehabilitation apartments to reduce hospital bed blocking.

Cllr Desai said: " We have all residents ready in groups to ensure we can have sufficient support on the day of the move, effectively slots will be agreed with future residents to help get them settled."

He promised Ewood's Cllr Maureen Bateson that future tenants would be given a chance to look round the home the week before they moved in.