MAJOR and much-needed refurbishments to low-rise flats in Oldbury have been approved.

Refurbishment of Darley House, Alston House, Radnall House, Birchley House, Century House and Selby House, in Wallace Close, were given the go ahead at Sandwell’s cabinet meeting on November 24.

In the meeting, it was revealed the contract will be awarded to Lovell Partnerships Limited at a cost of £20,531,855.

Work is set to start on the refurbishments for a period of 34 months, from January 2022 to November 2024.

Renovations include a new pitched roof to Darley House, new entrance porches, replacement windows, replacement front doors and balcony doors, fire precaution works, rainscreen cladding, mechanical & electrical service, and the installations of hard and soft landscaping.

Heat pumps are also expected to be part of the refurbishments, in line with the council’s climate plans  Strategy 2020 – 2041.

It is hoped the renovations, will provide an additional three new flats within Darley House.

In the cabinet meeting, Cllr Bob Piper (Labour councillor for Abbey ward), said the heat pumps were a positive step forward.

He said: “The heat pumps are a really positive measure given the discussions that we see took place in Glasgow.

“I’m also pleased to see the social value statements, which is right at the end of the report, that shows 100 per cent of the Lovell Partnerships Limited workforce live within 25 miles of the office, and  on their current Sandwell contracts, and 45 per cent within the borough of Sandwell.”

Cllr Zahoor Ahmed, (Labour councillor for St Paul’s), and cabinet member for housing, also said it was “good news for residents” that new sprinklers were being installed.

The works will take place at the following:

Darley House, a 19-storey block of flats

Alston House, a 3-storey block of flats

Radnall House, a 3-storey block of flats

Birchley House, a 2-storey block of flats

Century House, a 2-storey block of flats

Selby House, a 2-storey block of flats

The report was unanimously approved at Sandwell Council’s cabinet.