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Oldham Gateway: building for the future

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Oldham Gateway- Fitton Hill- Housing

The “Oldham Gateway” PFI project will see some 700 homes being built or refurbished in  Primrose Bank, Dew Way, Crossley in central Chadderton and Keswick Avenue in Fitton Hill.

The sites are being developed in stages with Dew Way now nearing completion and the other three sites being ready within the next three years. The investment which is worth a £113 million is a clear statement by the council of its ambition to redevelop the Oldham area.

In a recent tour of the sites, Councillor Dave Hibbert, the cabinet member for housing, transport and planning said:

“We all understand the importance of warm, dry and safe housing to people’s quality of life, so I’m delighted these new homes are taking shape as they will provide modern new housing for Oldham residents.

“Over the last few years many building projects have gone to the wall so I am glad we and our partners have bucked the trend and provided the first new council houses to be built in decades.”

The area will receive a further lift as it was recently announced by Oldham Council that the award winning Bloom and Grow campaign will be moving to Crossley.

Great Places Housing Group and Bloom and Grow team members have brought the Town Centre’s Past, Present and Future display to the entrance of Crossley Estate, in Chadderton.

Speaking on the move, Councillor Jean Stretton, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said:

“Over the last few years the Council’s Bloom and Grow team, residents and partners have delivered some inspiring displays.

“It gives me great pleasure to see that a new home has been found for the Bloom and Grow centrepiece and that it will have a positive environmental impact on the area.

“Oldham Council, Great Places and Wates Living Space are delivering real changes for the better through the PFI 4 Gateways to Oldham scheme and I’m sure this display will help put a smile on the faces of residents living on the Crossley Estate and visitors.”

Due to the continued success of Bloom and Grow, the Borough has been chosen to represent the North West at the national Britain in Bloom 2012 contest in the ‘City’ category. The honour comes after Oldham scooped a hat-trick of horticultural honours at the region’s premier gardening competition last year.

IBI Taylor Young’s specialist residential team carried out a substantial part of the design work on the Oldham Gateway project and speaking about the development Wilf Cooper, Associate Director, said:

“The properties have been built using are a mixture construction techniques, some of the sites are being constructed in timber frame and others using traditional load bearing construction  of brickwork and blockwork, often with render finish.”

“The Gateway project is really about trying to contribute to improving the image of the whole town by enhancing some prominent  sites on the approaches whilst at the same time addressing the identified housing need of the town.”

Wates are the main contractors on the development along with the Inspiral consortium, which comprises Regenter and Great Places.

Ian Burnett, Managing Director for Wates Living Space said:

“We are delighted to have joined the Inspiral consortium and are looking forward to delivering the Gateways to Oldham private finance initiative. We hope our experience of delivering such projects will lead to our successful appointment to the Creating A New Pendleton housing private finance initiative for Salford City Council.”

Wates went beyond the build in Oldham this Christmas as they provided much-needed funding to take a group of 14 young people from Oldham Young Carers on a trip to Manchester’s Christmas markets and also donated an Xbox game console to the project for their entertainment.

Steve Jackson, Regional Managing Director at Wates Living Space, commented:

“We want to use our presence in Oldham to look beyond building and support local people and communities. These youngsters show unremitting care in the face of great responsibility and they deserve to be rewarded for that. It was our pleasure to be able to give something back to them this Christmas and make a positive impact upon their day-to-day lives.”

NKC Geotech ltd

Established in 1974 by Neil Catlow, NKC Geotech ltd is a company that specialises in the investigation and treatment of disused mineworkings.

Most recently NKC Geotech worked on the multimillion pound Oldham Gateway project, the firm were tasked with locating and capping two old shafts which were known to be present from old mineplans.

Speaking about the works carried out on the project, Neil Catlow said:

“The two shafts were known as Water Pit and Kay’s Pit, previous attempts to locate Water Pit had failed, but I found the shaft within two days in the position shown on the mineplans.   An unforeseen consequence of this location work was that old mining tunnels were encountered in the Oldham Thick Mine coal seam under the site, and I grouted these to prevent any subsidence.

“This has been a very interesting site to investigate as it has several layers of past use- from open fields alongside the main road, now Lee Street and Primrose Bank, to terraced back to back housing with outside privies dating to the 1860’s.”

When asked what NKC Geotech prides itself on, Neil added:

“We’re a small company focused on the specific geotechnical issue; we can be far more effective than large generalised companies that try to cover all the aspects of site investigation. I carry out all the work myself using my own equipment and thereby have extensive direct experience of past mining activities.”

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