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New start for site residents
Buy this photo » Jack Crompton, voids property officer at the council, left, is pictured with Malcolm Everton, the last person to move out of Bradlands on Friday
THE last residents have moved out of an Oxford sheltered housing block before it is knocked down by the city council.
Bradlands House in Old Marston was built about 40 years ago but will now be demolished to make way for a new 45-flat block.
It is part of the city council’s push for more social housing, with some of the residents moving back into the new block.
Malcolm Everton, 66, was the last person to leave the block on Friday having lived there for 13 years.
He said: “I am going to miss Bradlands.
“However, having said that the council will probably have a new block up soon.
“The new block will give the people who live in Bradlands a better quality of life.
“The people who are actually designing the new block have talked to us about what we would like and what they can do for us.”
Mr Everton moved to Bradlands after having two major heart attacks, which he put down to his work in the building industry laying pipes.
The city council has said the flats and bungalows at Bradlands are sub-standard and that there is no lift and no communal facilities of any description.
Residents have also had problems with noise from the nearby northern bypass.
The new block will have a communal lounge with kitchen facilities, a treatment room and a guest bedroom. It will be comply with all current access standards unlike the existing block with its lack of a lift.
The council does not yet have a date for when Bradlands will be demolished as a contractor has not yet been appointed.
While the work goes ahead, some of the residents of Bradlands – which has 30 flats – will be moved across the road into Cumberlege House.
That is another sheltered housing block that will also eventually be demolished after the new Bradlands is built.
Fifteen residents will switch between the two.
Planning permission for the new block of flats was granted in September, but Old Marston residents were upset with the building’s design.
The parish council branded it a “monstrosity” and out of character with the village.
Work being carried out at Bradlands is the first part of the council’s bid to build 112 new council homes in the city by 2015.
Jack Crompton, voids property officer at the city council, said: “We have worked really hard with the residents to ensure that their move from Bradlands to their new accommodation is as smooth as possible.
“The residents have moved into a variety of different properties, some were sheltered housing and some have gone into independent homes.
“When Bradlands is rebuilt, which we expect to be in approximately two years, we will be talking to those residents first about whether they wish to move back.”
Oxford city councillor for Marston Mary Clarkson voted against plans for the replacement block, but said she wouldn’t be sorry to see the current building go.
She said: “Nobody liked the building, nobody is going to lament its demolition.
“But some elements of the new building are going to be three-storey and that’s controversial.”