Councillors view progress on multimillion pound Oldbury high-rise improvement programme

20th, December

Sandwell councillors have viewed progress on a large-scale modernisation scheme for three 1960s tower blocks at Oldbury’s Lion Farm estate.

Lovell recently began work on the £9.7 million programme of internal and external upgrades for the Hackwood, Wallace and Harry Price House high-rises, together containing more than 200 flats.

Sandwell councillors and officers with representatives from the Lovell team during the visit to the Lion Farm estate where Lovell is carrying out a multimillion pound high-rise improvement programme for Sandwell Council.

The 18-month improvement programme includes a new feature pitched roof for each block with new windows, doors and balcony balustrades. Front entrance and rear exits will be refurbished and internal communal areas redecorated with new lighting installed; fire alarms and lifts are being also being replaced. Fire-resistant insulated external cladding fitted to the highest standard will be installed which will give the three blocks a new vibrant appearance. Extra car parking is also being created.

During their visit, councillors also toured a recently completed project – also carried out by Lovell for the Council – which has delivered similar improvements for Nelson House in nearby Tipton.

The year-long £2.5 million refurbishment has seen the creation of a new feature-roof, fire resistant insulated cladding, new windows and doors, new balcony balustrades, along with redecorated communal areas and new lighting, fire alarms and smoke detectors. Extra car parking spaces have been created and the area around the block has been extensively landscaped.

Refurbishment director Carl Yale says: “Our project team very much enjoyed showing our partners at Sandwell Council the work taking place at Lion Farm, as well as enabling them to see how the significant improvements completed at Nelson House have benefitted residents, creating homes which are warmer and cheaper to heat.  Our team takes huge satisfaction from working on schemes like this which are improving homes and lives and enhancing the community.”

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Sandwell’s cabinet member for housing, says: “We have a successful working partnership with Lovell and It’s good to see that work has now started at Lion Farm on this latest improvement project. We’ll be working closely with them to make sure that disruption is kept to a minimum for tenants and they are kept up-to-date with progress.

She adds: “I was also really pleased to see the refurbishment of Nelson House completed as the work was originally delayed due to Government funding cuts and the council had to find the money. We appreciate the patience of the tenants. The improvements have greatly improved the look of the blocks and extended their lifespan.”

Residents of the three Lion Farm blocks are living in their homes during the improvement programme, with Lovell doing everything it can to limit disruption to a minimum and keeping them informed. A programme of community initiatives will see Lovell link up with local schools and other community groups as well as lending its support to the Lion Farm Action Centre – a community-based training centre for local people based in Harry Price House.

The company has also launched a website – lovellinlionfarm.co.uk – with more information about the project, including progress updates.