Facelift planned for tired Tipton block

Council leaders visited a tired-looking 1960s tower block in Tipton to officially unveil £3 million refurbishment plans set to get under way in May.

Nelson House in Upper Church Lane will be the 35th block of flats to be refurbished in 10 years.

Work to the block will include new windows, balcony doors and panels, front entrance and rear exit, pitched roof, photo-voltaic panels, insulated cladding, redecoration of communal areas and lift upgrade.

It will also benefit from landscaping and improved parking and lighting outside.

Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Darren Cooper, visited the nine-storey block, with councillors, including deputy town lead for Tipton, Councillor Bill Cherrington.

Councillor Cooper, who met tenants during the visit, said: “I’m delighted that this work is finally going ahead. It’s long overdue for tenants here and we appreciate their patience. At long last, work is set to start.

“Not only will the renovation create better homes for the people living here, it will also lengthen the lifespan of and improve the appearance of the building.

“I’m extremely proud that we have managed to continue investing in our council homes despite such challenging financial times. In this block’s case, the work was delayed due to Government cutting the funding for our housing investment programme and we have had to find the money ourselves.

“This is the 35th block that the council has refurbished and this is part of an on-going programme for the borough’s tower blocks.

“So far we have invested around £75 million in our council housing which includes spending £50 million on a package of internal improvement to upgrade 6,000 council properties.”

A consultation event about the refurbishment plans at Nelson House was held in October last year and tenants’ suggestions factored into the scheme.

These included requests to keep storage areas on the ground floor inside the block and outside drying areas. Other concerns included anti-social behaviour and the security of the block.

Councillor Cooper added that feedback from tenants about the plans was vital, and their comments had been taken on board.

Five contractors have put in bids for the work which is estimated to be worth around £2.9 million, with Lovell submitting the lowest price.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet is set to formally approve the work at its meeting on Wednesday 23 March.