Oldbury high-rise set for refurbishment

Published 8th November 2018

Ambitious plans which will see a tired and outdated block of flats in Oldbury undergo a massive £12 million facelift have been unveiled by housing bosses.

Alfred Gunn House in Langley is set to be totally transformed with a programme of external renovations which will include new windows and external cladding, improvements to balconies, a new roof and additional parking.

Internal works will also see the two existing lifts replaced, upgraded to fire protection, and new decoration and lighting to communal areas and corridors plus improved entrance and security systems.

The building which currently has 120 flats and is made up of three interlinked blocks with two stair cases, one of each side of the building will also get an additional mid-point staircase.

Major remodelling works will also see 57 three-bedroom flats reconfigured  to two bedroom properties in a bid to make them more attractive to tenants to try and tackle the  relative high turnover and shorter than average tenancies the block suffers from.

Another ten two-bedroom flats could also be  built on the roof subject to negotiations with existing telecommunications suppliers that currently have equipment on the existing roof.

Redundant storage sheds on the ground floor will also be removed to create a further four two-bedroom flats.

Landscaping around the block will also be improved including much needed extra car parking.

The block was built in 1962 and is located in Thompson Road, Langley and is close to key rail and road links.

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Sandwell's cabinet member for housing, said: "The refurbishments to Alfred Gunn House are part of our on-going ten-year investment plan which will see the council invest nearly £500 million into the delivery of new build projects, continued investment into existing council  housing stock and communal spaces in neighbourhoods.

"Around £52 million of this is being spent on external improvements to 13 high-rise blocks across Oldbury, Rowley Regis and West Bromwich, starting with Alfred Gunn House.

"In addition to the much-needed improvements, one of the priorities with this block was to look at how we could remodel the flats to suit the changing needs of our tenants."

As well as seeking approval to tender for the £11.8 million improvement and remodelling works, the report to next week’s cabinet also asks for the green light to draw up further plans for a  new build council housing scheme within the Alfred Gunn House site.