Demolition of town ‘eyesores’ gets under way

Cllr John Donaldson at the Orchard Lodge site on Warwick Road
Cllr John Donaldson at the Orchard Lodge site on Warwick Road

Demolition work has begun in Banbury to replace three major ‘eyesores’ with housing.

As part of its Build! programme, Cherwell District Council will demolish Orchard Lodge off Warwick Road, Calthorpe House in Calthorpe Street and Lincoln House in Woodgreen Avenue to replace the buildings with housing.

The sites, which are expected to provide a total of 49 homes, were bought by Cherwell from Oxfordshire County Council in December with preliminary work for the demolition commencing almost immediately.

Councillor Debbie Pickford, lead member for housing, said: “These are three substantial buildings yet all have stood empty for several years. Rather than continuing to leave them vacant and falling into disrepair, we want to put these prominent sites to good use and provide much-needed housing.

“Not only will these create homes in premium locations, it will transform the look of the area and bring these redundant brownfield sites back into use.”

This week demolition work began at the former Orchard Lodge care home with work on the two other sites due to begin in the coming weeks. Once completed, the sites will be rebuilt to provide 16 shared-ownership properties at Orchard Lodge, 15 rented properties at Calthorpe House and 18 equity loan properties at Lincoln House.

Leicestershire-based AR Demolition has been awarded the contract following an extensive tendering process, overcoming 24 competitors.

Managing director Richard Dolman said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cherwell to help deliver this revitalising scheme. Over the next three months we will transform these redundant buildings into ‘shovel-ready’ development sites, setting up fantastic housing opportunities for residents.”

All sites are predicted to be completed by spring/ summer 2015. The Build! programme involves residents undertaking some of the construction work themselves in exchange for cheaper rents or purchase prices. E-mail to find out more.