FCHO is delivering 88 homes in West Vale, Oldham. Credit: via planning documents

First Choice launches West Vale consultation 

The housing association is seeking feedback on its plans to replace two 1970s tower blocks in Oldham with 88 affordable homes, as it also announced the appointment of a new chief executive.

First Choice Homes Oldham’s West Vale proposals form part of a £160m plan to deliver 850 homes in the town over the next six years. 

The scheme would include the construction of a seven-storey apartment block, located to the south-east of the two-acre site, as well as a range of house types. 

Oldham Council granted approval for the demolition of Crossbank House and Summervale House, which FCHO owns, in September.

D Hughes Demolition & Excavation will start knocking down the apartment blocks in May. 

The project team includes PRP Architects, which designed the scheme, Markhams as employer’s agent and cost consultant, Whiteley Eaves as principal designer, engineering firm Alan Johnson Partnership, and NJL Consulting as the planning consultant. 

First Choice West Vale 2

A mix of houses and apartments is proposed

Danielle Ashworth, head of development at FCHO, said: “We have got exciting plans for the proposed West Vale development and making sure they feature the right design and layout is crucial.    

Also important is the contribution that this development will make to the local economy, creating opportunities for local people and businesses as it progresses.” 

The consultation will conclude at the end of January, at which point FCHO will submit a planning application for the project. 

Meanwhile, Donna Cezair, a well-known consultant in the social housing sector, has been appointed as FCHO’s new chief executive and will take over from interim chief executive Keith Wrate this month.

Donna Cezair First Choice Oldham

Cezair is FCHO’s new chief executive

Cezair has over 30 years’ experience in the housing sector. She began her career as a housing officer in 1989 and has worked her way up through a string of senior positions to her most recent post as chief executive of Valleys to Coast Housing Association in 2019.

Over the last few years, Donna has run her own consultancy business providing strategic advice to housing companies to help them increase service impact and improve their operations.

She said: “It’s a really exciting time for Oldham and the wider Greater Manchester region due to brilliant partnership working around regeneration and economic development.

“I want FCHO to play a bigger part in this by working with our partners to strengthen relationships and help develop the area and support to residents, which will continue to make Oldham a fantastic place to live and work.”

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