THE demolition of Lucy Faithfull House, a homeless shelter in Oxford city centre, has begun.

The city council wants to knock the Speedwell Street building down and build between 40 to 55 apartments there.

Half of those will be designated as 'affordable'.

The authority will spend about £13m on the entire project.

Oxford Mail:

Over recent months, opponents to the scheme have lashed out at the plan to knock the building down rather than renovate it while the city struggles with homelessness. The city council has estimated about 89 people are living on the streets.

Demolition work is set to be finished by June and the council said the contractors had promised to keep noise down 'to an absolute minimum'.

Maylarch Ltd, of Eynsham, will knock the complex down.

Stephen Clarke, the city council's head of housing and property services, said: “The city council intends to redevelop the site to provide much needed residential accommodation for the city, which will include 50 per cent affordable housing.

"The proposals are still in the early feasibility stages of development, but we will provide more information as the plans develop over the next few months.”

The council said that any people concerned about disruption during the work can call Maylarch on 01865 883829 or visit the company's website at