Renovation of Oldbury tower block on target
Published 7th December 2021
Work on a £17 million scheme to build new council homes along with modernising and improving a sixty-year-old block of flats is progressing well.
Sandwell Council is working with construction partner Seddon on the project to totally transform Alfred Gunn House in Langley, with a £15 million facelift.
External improvements to the block – built in the 1960s – include new windows and external cladding, upgraded enclosed balconies with sliding glass windows and a new roof along with extra parking for tenants and visitors plus extensive landscaping.
Internal refurbishment work includes new lifts and upgraded fire protection along with new decoration and lighting to communal areas and corridors, plus improved entrance and security systems.
Alfred Gunn House is ten storeys high with 120 flats and is made up of three interlinked blocks with two staircases – one on either side of the building – is also getting an additional third mid-point stair case.
Major internal remodelling work is reconfiguring 57 of the existing three-bedroom flats in to two-bedroom homes, with dividing walls between the lounge and kitchen removed to create attractive an attractive open plan living space, making the flat more attractive to tenants.
Internal refurbishment of the flats – which includes new bathrooms and kitchens along with sprinkler systems are ongoing throughout the block and by early January 30 flats will have been completed.
External cladding to the building, including additional insulation, new windows and enclosures to balconies have started and roof works are also underway.
The scheme also includes 16 much-needed new council homes on council-owned land adjacent to Alfred Gunn House, in Old Hobicus Lane, which have recently being completed, bringing the council’s overall investment in the area to £17 million.
Councillor Zahoor Ahmed, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s great to see this refurbishment in operation.
“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.
“This renovation programme is part of our ongoing investment to improve our existing council homes, as well as building new council homes, which we have managed to do here as well.”
Rob Moore, business unit director at Seddon said: ‘It’s fantastic to see work at Alfred Gunn house progressing so well and we’re delighted to be helping transform the space for the future generation of tenants.”
The Alfred Gunn refurbishment is scheduled for completion in Autumn 2022.
Sandwell Council’s urban design and building services team has drawn up the design and specification for the refurbishment of Alfred Gunn House.
The multi-disciplinary team has completed the refurbishment of more than 40 high-rise blocks in Sandwell since 2005.