Pressing ahead with plans for Orient site

Site owner Andrew Heyhurst outside the Orient Building.
Site owner Andrew Heyhurst outside the Orient Building.

The Friends of Fleetwood Trams are still hoping their tram museum will be sited in the Orient Building on the corner of Station Road.

But owner Andrew Hayhurst says he has to press ahead with his plans to turn the site into student accommodation, although he won’t close the doors on the tram plan just yet.

Friends spokesman John Woodman said that he hopes an agreement with Mr Hayhurst can be made in the foreseeable future.

He said: “We are continuing our discussions in a positive way and hopefully an agreement will be made.

“We are also in discussions at various levels with other people, including Fleetwood Car Centre. Things are going well and I hope an announcement will be made in a month or two.”

Mr Hayhurst has made a series of efforts to get the boarded building back into use. Previous plans for living accommodation have been turned down by Wyre planners and been rejected on appeal because of possible industrial noise nuisance from Sidings Road.

But with the student scheme Mr Hayhurst plans to put work areas and offices on the Siding Road side of the building with living accommodation on the other side.

He said: “I was hoping the tram group would be able to make a financial commitment but they cannot do that yet and I am not prepared to wait. Therefore I am pursuing my plans for the student accommodation. However if they come back to me in the meantime with a finanical commitment then I will consider. I’ve had the building far longer than I wanted and I need to get on with things.”