Residents are celebrating after work started in Madeley to demolish a block of disused flats, making way for brand new affordable houses and bungalows.
Councillor Paul Watling kick-started the redevelopment works at Oak Close with a turf-cutting ceremony, marking the start of a much needed facelift for the area.
The 35 new properties planned for the site include four two-bed bungalows and a mixture of one, two and three-bed houses. On completion, they will be available for rent from The Wrekin Housing Trust.
Oak Close residents Sheila and Eric Hockenhull have lived in their house since 1972 and said it is a relief to see the changes start. “When we moved to the street the flats were fine, but over time they became run-down,” said Sheila, 71, who has two children and five grandchildren. “It will be nice to have them replaced with bungalows and houses, it will help to give a lift to this part of Madeley.”
The work at Oak Close is providing 81 people with jobs, and that includes five apprenticeships, while the economic impact on the wider community is estimated to be £12.5 million. The new affordable homes, which are being built by Manton Building Contractors for the Trust, are due to be completed in August next year.
Councillor Watling said the new houses and bungalows will be welcomed in Madeley. “Local people are really pleased that the new houses and bungalows are being built,” he said. “We have been planning these improvements with The Wrekin Housing Trust for a while, and I’m pleased to be here at the first stage of the process and see the work begin.
“It is good to see that bungalows are part of the development as this is something that is needed in Madeley. Madeley is a new town and these flats were built before then, so it is great to see these new properties being built – especially as Telford celebrates its 50th anniversary.”
Head of property at The Wrekin Housing Trust, Dave Hall, said: “We constantly strive to update our properties to meet the changing needs and expectations of Telford residents. The flats fulfilled their purpose for a lot of years but the time has come to replace them with modern accommodation that suits the families of today.
“These new houses will contribute to the evolution of Telford as a whole.”