'Eyesore' to be redeveloped into affordable housing
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development, Local Government
West Street, Grimsbury
Steps to transform a redundant 'eyesore' into affordable housing have moved forward after Cherwell District Council finalised the sale of the property.
Last year the council announced plans to work with housing association A2Dominion to create a collection of affordable apartments at 1 West Street in Grimsbury, Oxfordshire.
The iconic building, which was previously owned by A2Dominion, will undergo a major refurbishment project to create five new flats as part of the council’s Build! project, which aims to help people to take a role in building their own homes.
Cllr Ann Bonner, who represents the Banbury Grimsbury and Castle ward, said: “This is fantastic news. It has taken years of hard work so I am absolutely jubilant that we have finally secured a deal for this property. This will become a focal point for the start of the conservation area in Grimsbury and it is down to the hard work of our officers who have pushed this through against all of the odds.
“This is an excellent conclusion to what will be the start of a vital regeneration for the area. I now look forward to watching the plans unfold.”
The building, which is believed to be approximately 150 years old, has been empty for about five years and is currently fenced off with metal plates covering windows to prevent vandalism
Proposals for the building, which previously housed six bedsits, are still to be finalised and will be subject to planning consent. However, it expected that both the ground and first floors will each contain a one-bedroom flat and a two-bedroom flat. The fifth apartment will be split over both the ground and first floor.
Outside, work will be done to create a communal garden, terraced patio, parking area and bike racks. Once completed, the flats will be available on a shared-ownership basis.
The majority of the work will be done as part of the Build! project, which encourages people to take part in the refurbishment programme to gain invaluable skills and experience while working to build their own home which they can move into upon completion.
Gerry Walker, A2Dominion’s regional development director, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cherwell District Council on this project. Not only will it bring a prominent building back into use, but it will create much-needed affordable housing for the area while providing those taking part in the Build! project with employable skills for the future.”
Planning applications are expected to be submitted in the coming weeks and if approved, work could begin as early as the summer.