West Vale development reaches new heights


Eighty-eight new affordable homes in Oldham have moved a step closer to completion, as our flagship West Vale development in Coldhurst has reached its highest point.

We are working with main contractor, Caddick Construction to build the contemporary, sustainable mixed-tenure project at the top of Manchester Street, to meet local housing need.

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Now the seven-storey apartment block at West Vale has reached its full height, Anne McLoughlin, Chief Executive (Interim) at First Choice Homes Oldham came together on site with Peter Carroll, Contracts Manager at Caddick Construction, Councillor Elaine Taylor, Oldham Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Licensing, and Sohida Banu, Manager – Affordable Housing Growth at Homes England to mark the milestone.

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Apprentice Engineer, Damien Saxon aged 19 from nearby New Moston joined in to celebrate the occasion, and commented that being on site while the apartment block goes up is a great way to learn:

“There’s lots of aspects of construction happening on West Vale, like the concrete frame apartments, timber frame houses, drainage and roads. There’s lots of information being fed to me which is very helpful and I’m gaining knowledge all the time.”

Once complete, the apartment building, which stands more than 26m tall, will comprise of 62 one and two-bedroom homes, all for affordable rent.

Also planned for the £21m scheme are 26 two, three and four-bedroom family houses for shared ownership, helping local people get on the housing ladder at an affordable price.

To support residents to save energy and money, all homes will be off gas, with a high energy performance rating, and use the latest low carbon technologies including air source heat pumps and additional insulation.

Plans for the West Vale site include landscaped green spaces and a recreational zone with dedicated play area too, providing a much-needed facility for younger children in the neighbourhood.

The project, which is due for completion in winter 2024, is part of our ambitious strategy to deliver 1,100 high quality, sustainable new homes in Oldham and surrounding areas by March 2026.

Anne McLoughlin our Chief Executive (Interim) said: “I am delighted to see our plans for the neighbourhood becoming a reality and reaching this milestone is a terrific opportunity to celebrate the progress we are making here West Vale.

“Community is at the heart of the development, and we have worked hard to design a scheme that will increase the supply of genuinely affordable homes, offer a mix of houses and flats to suit different people and families and set the bar for high standards of energy efficiency to benefit residents in years to come."

Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director at Caddick Construction Group commented: “Celebrating this milestone gives us the opportunity to reflect on the huge success of the build so far. Between our experienced construction team and our extensive local supply chain partners, we are making excellent progress, as we safely reach the half-way point of the delivery programme. Our appointment to build this fantastic scheme for FCHO was made possible through our partnership with the Innovation Chain North Framework.

“Our positive impact on the community has been at the forefront throughout. Not only are we bringing these much-needed, affordable homes to the local area but we’ve already exceeded some of our social value pledges with nearly 100 new jobs created, 3 student placements on-site this far, £5,000 donated to local community projects and £4,000 to poverty prevention initiatives.”

Cllr Elaine Taylor, Cabinet Member for Housing and Licensing at Oldham Council said: “This is a fantastic development which will bring much-needed new homes to the borough. We’re in a housing crisis and every new home will change someone’s life for the better.

“There’s a great mix of properties to suit a wide range of people’s needs - which is exactly what we need in Oldham.

“I’m also pleased to see how sustainable they are. Future residents can enjoy lower energy bills and less impact on the environment - something that is a real priority for us as a council.

“I look forward to seeing West Vale continue to develop and create a vibrant new neighbourhood.”

As the West Vale scheme moves forward, we are also spending c.£800k on energy efficiency improvement works to existing properties in the neighbourhood to make them sustainable into the future.

Environmental improvements and upgrades to communal blocks are planned too and so far, we have invested £9.5k on tree inspections, maintenance and planting, and a further £63.5k on clearing alleyways of rubbish and removing fly tipping, repairing and repainting fencing, and overhauling a disused communal garden behind Vale Drive.

Read more about West Vale.