Building work has begun on the former grounds of the Banbury and Bicester College site to build a housing complex for older people.
The Bath Road site that used to be bustling with the endeavours of trainee mechanical engineering students is once again a hive of activity as a £12 million retirement living development broke ground this week.
The Bromford-built project named Park Gardens will consist of 78 retirement living homes exclusively for those aged over 55 housed in a four floor building.
Of these one or two bedroom abodes, 55 will be placed on the open market, 16 will be available to rent and seven will be shared ownership options.
The complex will also house an on-site cafe, gym, a hair and beauty salon, landscaped gardens and parking.
There will also be the option of specialised support and care professionals.
Attending the ground-breaking ceremony were members of both district and county councils, students and representatives from Banbury and Bicester Collge, Bromford directors and site managers.
Cllr John Donaldson, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for housing, said: “Park Gardens is an exciting and much-needed development which will provide residents with a balance of independence and support, while supporting a range of lifestyle choices.
“We are pleased to see the substantial investment that Bromford is putting into the complex.
“This will support new jobs in Banbury and provide an attractive addition to the Bath Road area.
“I was very pleased to attend the sod-cutting ceremony and look forward to seeing how the work progresses.”
Work preparing the site started with the demolition of the former media and motor mechanical buildings and has taken three months to complete.
Completion of the Park Gardens site is scheduled for 2018. There will, however, be a show home built which will be open for viewing towards the end of next year.
The site, in close proximity to existing college buildings and residential homes should be a straight forward build.
Nathan Deen, contract manager, said: “So far there have been no complications and it is running to program.
“It’s a steel frame traditional build and now we can get going there will be anywhere from 20 to 90 people on site.”
Prices for the apartments have yet to be announced.