Residents give views on tower block plans

Oxford Mail: Lauraine Dineen with son Harry, three, outside Evenlode Tower. Picture: OX66778 Aimee Kirkham Buy this photo Lauraine Dineen with son Harry, three, outside Evenlode Tower. Picture: OX66778 Aimee Kirkham

RESIDENTS turned out in force to have their say on Oxford’s Technicolour tower block designs.

More than 250 people gave their views on how the five tower blocks should look.

The consultation events have been held as part of Oxford City Council’s £15m tower block refurbishment programme.

Kevin McHale, 66, has lived in Plowman Tower, Northway, for over 20 years, and has attended several consultations.

He said: “I think it’s good that more people are getting involved, I don’t see why you wouldn’t.

“You’re the ones who live here.”

Mr McHale said he was happy with the plans and added: “I didn’t like the yellow design, but the terracotta and cream will be lovely.”

About 70 per cent of residents at the 85-flat Plowman Tower.

There are more than 700 people living in the five buildings.

Oxford Mail:

An artist’s impression of the proposed tower block revamp.

Oxford City Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “The consultation was a great success as we had more residents look at the plans and have their say.

“We received positive feedback on the designs and we can now move forward with our plans for the tower blocks.”

She said an application would be submitted to the planning authority this summer with work expected to start next spring and last three years.

Lauraine Dineen lives in Blackbird Leys’ Evenlode Tower.

Mrs Dineen, a full-time mother to two boys Harry, three, and two-year-old George, said: “I don’t like the purple and green design for the outside, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they do about improving our heating and storage space.”

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City councillor Scott Seamons, the executive board member for housing, said: “I’m really pleased that so many people responded.

“We’re planning on doing a third and final consultation where we talk to people about what’s important for them.

“It’s focusing on the little things now, like storage space inside the flats and how many cycle spaces people want.”

Oxford Mail:

Scott Seamons.

The revamp will centre on the structure and cladding of the five tower blocks – Plowman, Windrush, Evenlode, Hockmore and Foresters – together with insulation, replacement windows, replacement heating and lift refurbishment. Under the proposals, Evenlode and Windrush Towers in Blackbird Leys will be purple, grey and white, and Hockmore Tower in Cowley will be clad in green, with part of its Portland stone exterior maintained.

Foresters and Plowman Towers will be clad in red terracotta.

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