Housing contractor appointed on key Oldham construction project

First Choice Homes Oldham’s (FCHO) work to redevelop the West Vale neighbourhood, where two iconic tower blocks currently stand, has moved up a gear with Liverpool-based Crossfield Living appointed to build 88 new homes at the site.

The housing association’s plans to transform the area west of Oldham town centre and create a place where people, families and businesses there can thrive, were approved by Oldham Council last month.

The West Vale development forms part of the social housing provider’s £160m plan to deliver 850 homes in Oldham and the surrounding areas by 2026.

Crossfield Living has been selected to progress to the second stage of a two-stage tender process to build the 88 new homes which will include 26 houses – a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom family homes – along with 62 one- and two-bedroom apartments to help meet local housing need.

The scheme also includes landscaping across the site and a recreational space with an equipped play area, providing a much needed facility for younger children in the neighbourhood.

As part of FCHO’s £12m investment in new homes at West Vale, Crossfield has also pledged to deliver a social value plan designed to leave a positive legacy in the local community.

Subject to consultation with residents, social value proposals could include setting up a purpose built ‘Community Hub’ managed by a dedicated project skills coordinator. This would then be a key facility from which FCHO, the Crossfield team and other community stakeholders can deliver a range of community development and engagement initiatives to benefit people in the surrounding neighbourhood.

Contributing to the local economy and creating jobs and training opportunities for local people will also be central to the project.

Crossfield Living will work with regional supply chain partners as well as creating jobs, work placements, training and mentoring opportunities, all to encourage local people into the construction industry and improve job prospects.

Supporting FCHO’s sustainability ambitions, 96% of all site waste will be diverted from landfill and a series of sessions to promote health, wellbeing and inclusivity are planned to help raise living standards and promote equality.

Joel Owen, FCHO’s director of development, said: “Our West Vale development presents an excellent opportunity to not only build high quality, modern, much needed affordable new homes, but also deliver impactful social value.

“We want to make a positive difference to local people and businesses, now and in years to come, and I’m delighted to be partnering with a contractor who we specifically chose to work with based on the fact they share our social value vision for the area, residents and the community.”

David Dobson, director at Crossfield Living, said: “Crossfield Living has delivered a diverse portfolio of new housing schemes across the North West, working in partnership with registered partners to improve lives by building better homes.

“We are very proud to have been appointed by First Choice Homes Oldham 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.”

Crossfield Living will begin work at West Vale in spring 2022, with homes due for completion in autumn 2023.

Demolition of the 1970’s tower blocks, Crossbank House and Summervale House, will be carried out by Oldham-based specialist, D Hughes & Excavation. Work will commence in August this year and last until January 2022.