Lovell to start on £10 million Oldbury flats refurbishment
Housing construction company Lovell is starting work this month on £10 million of improvements at three blocks of flats in Oldbury.
The 1960s blocks of more than 200 flats on the Lion Farm Estate will undergo an 18-month programme of work that will include fitting fire-resistant, insulated external cladding.
Lovell says the cladding will be 'of the highest standard'.
There had been concerns the work might be delayed following the Grenfell Flats disaster in London, but Lovell, which has been chosen to carry out the work by Sandwell Council, says it will begin ater this month.
The internal and external refurbishment will take place at three 13-storey high rise blocks; Harry Price, Hackwood and Wallace Houses.
As well as the cladding, the work will include new windows, balcony doors and panels. Lovell will also install new lifts and new door entry systems, create extra car parking, carry out landscaping and the redecoration of communal areas.
More information about the work is being made available at an open day for residents on Wednesday, 16 August from 4.30pm to 7.30pm at the Rounds Green Library Community Room, Martley Road, Oldbury B69 1DZ where they can meet the construction team and ask questions.
Residents will continue living in their homes during the refurbishment and Lovell says it will do "everything possible to minimise disruption including providing a respite facility for their use during the day".
In addition, Lovell will provide training and community initiatives locally. The company says it will recruit a number of local apprentices to work on the Lion Farm refurbishment, provide work placements through the project and where possible will use local contractors.
Lovell, which specialises in regeneration work, says it will also get involved in community events and support local organisations, including working with the Lion Farm Action Centre to help get local unemployed people back into work and helping with Sandwell Council’s ‘Building Bridges’ and ‘Motivate’ employment schemes by offering CV-writing guidance and training for job interviews.
The company is also supporting Sandwell Council’s ‘Let’s Play’ scheme as well as donating to and helping a local foodbank. As part of its safety awareness campaign, Lovell will visit local schools to talk to students about the importance of staying safe by never playing on building sites, as well as giving pupils the chance to find out more about construction and the career opportunities offered by the industry.
Lovell regional refurbishment director Carl Yale said: “We are proud to be continuing our long-standing relationship with Sandwell Council through this latest refurbishment scheme. This is a major programme of work which will deliver important physical improvements for people’s homes as well as lasting community benefits for the area.”
Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Sandwell’s cabinet member for housing, added: “I am really pleased that work is starting on the three high-rise blocks on the Lion Farm estate, they really need modernising and I am sure tenants are looking forward to the transformation over the next year which will revitalise the whole estate.
“The council will be working closely with the Lovell team to make sure that tenants are kept fully up-to-date as work progresses and that they are inconvenienced as little as possible.”
Lovell has been working in the area as one of Sandwell Council’s refurbishment partners since 2005. It is part of the Morgan Sindall construction and regeneration group which has annual revenue of around £2.6 billion.