Facelift for Oldbury high-rise and new council homes on the way

Published 25th October 2019

Artist impression
Artist impression

A £14 million scheme to build new council homes and to give a tired and outdated block of flats in Oldbury a total facelift has been given the final go-ahead by Sandwell Council.

Construction company Seddon has been successful in their tender for works which will totally transform Alfred Gunn House in Langley, with a £12 million renovation programme.

An extra ten two-bedroom flats will also be built on the roof with redundant  storage sheds on the ground floor being removed to create a further four two-bedroom flats.

The scheme also includes 16 much-needed new council homes on council-owned land adjacent to Alfred Gunn in Old Hobiscus Lane, bringing the authority's overall investment in the area to £14 million.

External improvements to Alfred Gunn House include new windows  and external cladding, improvements to balconies, a new roof and extra parking for tenants and visitors.

Further internal refurbishment work will see existing lifts replaced and upgraded fire protection along with new decoration and lighting to communal areas and corridors plus improved entrance and security systems.

Alfred Gunn House - which is ten storeys high -  currently has 120 flats and is made up of three interlinked blocks with two stair cases - one on either side of the building - will also get an additional mid-point stair case.

Other remodelling works will see 57 three-bedroom flats reconfigured to two bedrooms in a bid to make them more attractive to tenants, tackling the relatively high turnover and shorter than average tenancies the block currently suffers from.

Councillor Joanne Hadley, Sandwell's cabinet member for homes, said: "It's great news that this contract has been awarded and we can look forward to a major facelift for Alfred Gunn House as well as another 16 new council homes nearby.

"One of our priorities for this block was to look at how we could remodel the flats to suit the changing needs of our tenants and to increase the number of affordable homes in the area."

Refurbishment work to Alfred Gunn House should get underway in early 2020.