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Eastern House flats to make way for futuristic eco-homes
PLANS to replace an old block of flats and bedsits for homeless people with nine affordable homes have sparked a mixed response from residents.
Oxford City Council wants to demolish Eastern House in Eastern Avenue, Littlemore, and replace it with a row of futuristic, environmentally-friendly homes.
Eastern House is a 1960s, two-storey block of nine bedsits and six flats, currently catering for about 12 homeless people.
The scheme has been welcomed by several Eastern House and Eastern Avenue residents, who said they will be given alternative accommodation, but other neighbours have raised concerns.
The council has received 11 identical letters of support, all welcoming the idea of “much-needed” new affordable housing for the city.
In the letter, residents said: “The scheme should be supported as it will make a vital contribution to delivering additional, much-needed affordable housing in the city.
“I also welcome the visual improvement the proposed housing provides, especially when compared with the existing building.”
Eastern House couple Elizabeth Corby, 55, and Nick Cottingham, 59, said they do not mind moving but have had no further information about where to or when.
Mr Cottingham said: “We have to take what they offer.
“We are grateful and we would be pretty happy about moving.”
He added that while he did not receive a letter from the council about the plans, a council officer had spoken to him and provided a form to suggest where the alternative accommodation could be.
But others who live near the site are not supportive, and five objections have been sent to the council.
Cowley Road resident Les King said: “We are immediate neighbours to the property and we already have privacy issues. Our children and garden are already overlooked by the properties which will get much worse with more housing on the site.
“This will also take away sunlight from our garden. We feel very against these plans as we are immediately next door.”
Newman Road resident Carl Bowen added: “No thought has been given to how close these new builds will be to existing properties. This will directly affect peoples’ privacy, including disabled residents.”
In a statement to planners, agent Turley Associates said: “Eastern House is proposed to be redeveloped due to its poor quality and that it no longer meets the required housing standards for living accommodation.”
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