A SOCIAL homes provider is seeking to convert four family houses on a 1950s former council estate into flats.

The new apartments will meet a growing demand for one and two-bedroomed properties in Blackburn.

The Together Housing Group (THG) has submitted a planning application to for the remodelling of the houses in Staffa Crescent, Shadsworth.

Blackburn South-East ward’s Cllr Tony Humphrys said: “It’s an interesting idea because it will open up more accommodation for single people on the estate. But I understand residents' anxieties about the impact on the neighbours.”

The application said: “”The four properties are a small portion of homes within THG’s ownership at the Shadsworth estate. The client wishes to remodel and facelift these properties.

“The four three bedroom semi-detached social housing properties are to be converted into four two bedroom flats on the ground floor and four one bedroom flats on the first floor to provide welcoming, secure homes occupiers will be proud to live in.

“The Shadsworth Estate currently provides a reasonable mix of two and three-bedroom houses, however there is limited availability of one bedroom homes which has led to evidence of under occupation among older residents.

“Of 835 households on the estate a third are currently showing as ‘under-occupying’. The bid data demonstrates that older residents have high levels of demand for smaller properties, with a steep increase in preference for one bedroom units being demonstrated in residents over 40, with 88 per cent of bids from residents in the eldest age profile being for one bed properties.

“Data also shows that some households in Shadsworth are experiencing overcrowding as THG have reported that adult dependants are remaining at home because they are unable to find suitable accommodation.

“Applications for one and two-bed units are overwhelmingly more frequent than other types.

“Built in the 1950’s, the Shadsworth Estate sits on the eastern outskirts of Blackburn.

“Currently, the area is adversely affected from the unkempt feel of some of the houses and surrounding areas. Fly tipping and littering is also an issue.

“However there is also seen to be a real sense of ownership in the area.

“The ambition is to create modern, aspirational yet affordable homes which will provide a springboard towards an improved quality of life for their occupiers.

“The proposed dwellings at Staffa Crescent will look to set a precedent for any future development as THG look to update and enhance housing stock on the Shadsworth Estate.”