Work is now well under way on a £20.8million refurbishment scheme for council homes in Oldbury.

Representatives from Sandwell Council and Lovell Partnerships Limited, which is carrying out the work, visited 19-storey high-rise block Darley House in Wallace Close to see the progress made since work started in November 2022.

Surrounding low-rise blocks Alston House, Birchley House, Century House, Radnall House and Selby House will also benefit from the major transformation for the area in forthcoming phases of the project.

Once the three-year scheme is completed, external walls of all blocks will have been fitted with insulated rain cladding and new windows.

A new local district heat pump system including new radiators and hot water system is currently being installed, as part of the council’s response to climate change, improving energy efficiency. Work is almost finished on the pump room within the site compound which will house all the pipework that will eventually supply all heating and hot water to Darley House and surrounding blocks.

Under the scheme, Darley House will also benefit from a new roof, balcony improvements and internal improvements. The area around the blocks will be landscaped.

Throughout the project, Lovell’s team will continue working closely with the council to provide a positive impact and a lasting legacy for the community. Lovell provided family activities in the community room at Darley House during the recent February half-term break and is supporting wider community engagement initiatives and working with local businesses.

Councillor Charn Singh Padda, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “It was really good to visit Darley House with Lovell and see the great progress made so far. This major project will improve homes for hundreds of local people while also helping to improve energy efficiency.

“We are working closely with tenants to keep disruption to a minimum and the project team will continue to keep our tenants regularly updated as they move through different phases of the refurbishments.

“This project is part of our ongoing investment in existing and new council homes in Sandwell to make sure people have the homes they need.”

Carl Yale, regional refurbishment director at Lovell, said: “It is not just the scale of the refurbishment that makes Darley House a significant project for our team, but the positive and very real impact it will have on the lives of residents.

“This is a substantial decarbonisation project, which includes the installation of a district heat network that will provide effective and affordable warmth to over 200 flats from renewable heat generated on site using air source heat pumps. This, along with new windows and doors, enclosed balconies and insulated rainscreen cladding, not only contributes positively to the environment but tackles the fuel poverty that impacts so many people in our region.

“A new play area and soft landscaping will also create a greater sense of community once this exciting project is completed.”

Source: Sandwell Council Press Release

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