DEMOLITION of city centre homes will start next month for social housing and student accommodation.

Luther Court, which has 56 affordable homes, will be demolished for 42 affordable properties and 82 for Bellerby’s College students.

Oxford City Council gave permission in November 2012 and hoarding has been put around the Thames Street building.

Matthew Solesbury, spokesman for A2Dominion Group, confirmed demolition will begin next month for its £7.5m scheme.

Tony Brett, a councillor for Carfax, said: “It’s good to see that this scheme is going ahead and I look forward to the accommodation it will offer as we are so short of accommodation in our city.

“I’m sure many people have lots of memories in Luther Court and it will have been hard for some to leave but I’m also hopeful that the new accommodation that is built will be a real asset to my constituents in Carfax ward and the city as a whole.”

The development was built about 30 years ago and the homes are mostly single occupancy. The new development will have eight, one-bedroom homes and 35 two-bedroom homes for rent.

The 19 student flats will be for the city college’s foreign students with 76 bedrooms.

Council head of city development Michael Crofton-Briggs has supported the development.

He said: “The residential development would improve the overall quality of the areas affordable housing stock, in a manner that would provide a suitable level and type of affordable housing that meets the priority need for the city as a whole and also provide good standard living accommodation for future occupants.”

A2Dominion is a not-for-profit organisation and will plough any profits back into providing affordable housing.

The group is one of the country’s leading providers of affordable housing, with 2,500 homes in Oxford and 34,000 homes across London and the South East.

The building work is expected to be complete in August, 2015.

A2Dominion’s commercial planning manager for the South East, Jim Smith, said: “We have been working with Oxfordshire County Council to move previous residents of Luther Court to alternative homes.

“The building is now vacant and we are set to proceed with the planned building work in March 2014.”