West Vale 3 FCHO PFirstChoiceHomesOldham
Landscaping and recreational space is included in the designs for the Vale Road site

Crossfield in line to build First Choice’s Oldham homes

Sarah Townsend

The contractor has been selected as the preferred bidder to deliver an 88-home scheme involving the demolition of two well-known tower blocks east of the town centre.

Crossfield Living, part of Crossfield Construction, will now progress to the second stage of a two-part tender to win the job, which is part of social housing provider First Choice Homes Oldham’s £160m regeneration plan for the Greater Manchester town.

The organisation plans to deliver 850 homes in Oldham and the surrounding areas by 2026 and the West Vale project represents £12m of the total investment planned by FCHO.

Demolition of the 1970s towerblocks off Vale Road – Crossbank House and Summervale House – is being carried out by local firm D Hughes & Excavation and is due to start in August and complete in January.

If successful, Crossfield will then redevelop the site into 26 houses – a mix of two, three and four-bedroom family homes – together with 62 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The scheme also includes landscaping across the site and a recreational space with an equipped play area, providing a facility for younger children in the neighbourhood. There are other community facilities proposed as part of a ‘social value’ deal being worked up between FCHO, Oldham Council and local residents. The scheme won planning consent last month.

“Our West Vale development presents an excellent opportunity to build high-quality, modern, much-needed affordable new homes, and also deliver impactful social value,” said Joel Owen, FCHO’s director of development.

“We want to make a positive difference to local people and businesses, now and in years to come and we specifically chose to partner with a contractor that shares our social value vision for the area, residents and the community.”

David Dobson, director of Crossfield Living, added: “[We have] delivered a diverse portfolio of new housing schemes across the North West, working in partnership with registered partners.

“We are proud to have been appointed by FCHO to deliver West Vale. Our shared priorities are to build high-quality and energy efficient homes that meet rising housing demands, doing so while creating extensive social value for the local community.”

Once officially appointed, the plan is for Crossfield Living to start work at West Vale in spring 2022. The homes are due for completion in autumn 2023.

The consultants working on the project are architect PRP, Markhams as employers agent and cost consultant, Whiteley Eaves as principal designer, engineers Alan Johnson Partnership and NJL Consulting as planning consultant.

A review by FCHO two years ago found that, while there were no safety issues at the properties, both Crossbank House and Summervale House were unpopular with local people and would require maintenance at “considerable cost” to upgrade them. 

The blocks are now vacant and residents have been rehoused.

West Vale 4 FCHO PFirstChoiceHomesOldham

PRP Architects has designed the project. Image courtesy of FCHO

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