A splash of colour will give ‘dull’ Leys tower major lift

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

IMAGES of what the towers in Blackbird Leys will look like after the results of the residents’ votes over colours have been revealed.

Windrush Tower will be red and Evenlode Tower will be blue.

Residents voted for their favourite colour scheme – choosing between red, green and blue – for the exterior of the buildings.

The chosen colours will go on the balconies, while the main towers will be painted white and grey.

Pamela Hurn, 76, who lives in Evenlode tower, got the colour she voted for.

She said: “I like the blue because the shades all complement each other.

“I don’t like the red scheme because it’s got that yellow shade in it. I don’t like that.”

But neighbour Noreen Scott, 75, prefers the Windrush tower’s colours. She said: “I chose the red one, because it’s nice and bright.

“We could do with a bit of cheering up around here.”

Jade Slattery, 24, said: “I think it’s brilliant.”

The carer added: “They needed to do something about it. It’s gotten all disgusting.”

Margerie Morris, 73, lives in Windrush Tower. She said: “I’m pleased there’s a bit of colour on the balconies. Grey is such a dull colour, and it’s dull enough around here already.”

Oxford City Council can now move forward with its £18.36m redesign of the city’s five blocks.

The estate’s two towers were the last in the city to get final designs, after residents disapproved of the original purple and green colour schemes.

Plowman Tower, Headington Foresters Tower, Wood Farm and Hockmore Tower, Cowley, had their designs revealed last month.

All five towers will also receive new roofs, windows, insulation, improvements to fire safety systems and new parking and bin facilities. The designs for the communal areas have also been revealed, with glass walls and indoor bike racks.

Scott Seamons, board member for housing and estate regeneration, said: “Residents were positive about the new design and were presented with a range of colour schemes.

“Now these have been agreed on, we can move forward to the next stage."”

The council will be submitting a planning application for the five towers by the end of this month.

Work will begin in the spring of 2015, but the schedule for the three-year build has not been decided.

The council had previously considered demolishing the tower blocks, but decided that it would not make sense, because any lowrise replacements provided on their sites would offer far fewer homes.

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