Cherwell District Council turns disused Banbury sites into homes

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Work has begun to turn the rundown sites of two former care homes in Banbury, Oxfordshire, into housing.

Cherwell District Council is to improve 13 vacant flats at Orchard Way to rent them out short-term before eventually demolishing the building.

The site will then be redeveloped into residential housing to be completed by spring 2017.

Beforehand the council will demolish Lincoln House on Wood Green. A total of 40 houses and flats will be built.

A spokeswoman said: "History tells us that regeneration projects can take a long time and we cannot exclusively rule out delays in this process.

"Therefore, we felt it was better to have these properties [at Orchard Way] back in use, even for just a few years, than have them sat empty."

'Tired and rundown'

Councillor Debbie Pickford, lead member for housing, said the authority "strongly supports the ethos to develop Brownfield sites first, ahead of green spaces".

"We recognise that these tired and rundown sites will need some attention to bring them back into use."

The sites, along with others in Bicester, will form part of the district council's Build! project to encourages people to play a part in building their own homes in exchange for cheaper rents or sale prices.

It is mainly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and also provides training opportunities in plumbing, tiling and electrical work.

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