Bermondsey estate ‘left in limbo’ after major works ‘delayed’

News Desk (30 August, 2018) Housing

'All we're getting is hearsay and second hand information'

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Major improvement works on a Bermondsey estate have ground to a halt, with residents saying they have been left in limbo as yet another survey is conducted, writes Jessica Aszkenasy…

The council has postponed major external, internal and cladding works to the Tustin Estate in South Bermondsey after saying another survey on the buildings is required – it is the fourth survey since June 2017. It says a number of reviews is necessary in order to secure best value for money.

But the estate’s Tenants’ and Residents’ Association Chairman, Andrew Eke, who has lived on the estate for 31 years, says that the council has left the residents in the dark regarding when improvements will be made to their homes. He says that he was not informed directly by the council that the works would be put on hold.

“All we’re getting is hearsay and second hand information,” said Eke.

“The contractors are cleaning up their materials as we speak. We were happy to suffer the inconveniences of the buildings works because we believed it was going to lead to other works being done.

“People are putting off having repairs done to their homes because they are being told that major works will be taking place.”

“We’ve lived here for 40 years and it’s gone downhill so much,” said 71-year-old resident Ray Osbourn.

A council spokesman said: “It is absolutely not the case that the refurbishment works on the Tustin Estate have been cancelled. The work to demolish the tower block’s podium is now completed and the contractors are just working to leave the site safe and secure.

“With regards to the internal and external refurbishment of the blocks we are very conscious of making sure the council is getting good value for money, especially given the high costs of the works. To this end we have commissioned a number of reviews so we can be thoroughly informed about the level of work required so we can be sure that the chosen solutions are what is needed to improve the appearance and quality of living in the blocks.

“We will be sharing the results of these reviews and discussing the final decision with residents in due course, and when we are sure we have the best solution for the best value, those works will be going ahead.”

“We recognise that more could have been done to communicate our decision with residents. Letters will be going out this week to update everyone on the works and explain what is happening next, and we have also arranged to meet with the TRA.”

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