WORK to transform an eyesore former row of shops and maisonettes in Kingswinford into 16 new council homes was this week nearing completion.

Dudley Council started on the £1.7million apartment block project in Beech Road site around 12 months ago - as part of the authority's commitment to invest £40million on building more than 350 new homes in the borough.

The development, which has been built by award-wining developer Jessup, comprises 12 two-bedroom flats and four one-bedroom apartments.

Four of the properties have been earmarked for tenants already living in the area who are looking to downsize.

Councillor Laura Taylor, Dudley's cabinet member for housing, said: "I’m really pleased to see yet another one of our new build schemes nearing completion.

"The old buildings on this site had seen better days and were in desperate need of redevelopment.

"Now we have a new contemporary apartment block that fits in with the local street scene, offers quality affordable homes and possibly a suitable alternative to tenants in the area who might be thinking about downsizing.”

Clive Jessup, managing director of Jessup, said: "We are delighted to be working with Dudley Council to deliver new homes across the region using our local team of skilled trades people.”

Anyone interested in downsizing from a house to one of the new properties can call the council’s housing liaison team on 0300 555 2345.

The council may be able to help with costs including removals.