Residents evacuated from 'unsafe' blocks of flats for up to a year - The Coventry Observer

14th Aug, 2022

Residents evacuated from 'unsafe' blocks of flats for up to a year

Felix Nobes 19th Apr, 2018 Updated: 19th Apr, 2018

‘UNSAFE’ Coventry blocks of flats – constructed only ten years ago – have been evacuated after developers built it with serious structural faults.

Residents have been moved out of flats at Philmont Court, in Bannerbrook Park, Tile Hill, due to safety concerns.

The occupants have been told it could take up to a year to complete repairs.

As the Coventry Observer revealed last year, the flats were not built to the safest specifications by developers Persimmon Homes, according to a structural engineer’s investigation conducted by Whitefriars Housing Association (WHA) – which owns some of the buildings of owner-occupied and rented flats.

The blocks contains 48 flats with 39 households currently occupying the flats – including ten families with children.

As we reported last July, residents were ‘worried sick’ their homes could partially collapse after safety risks were confirmed.

Residents told us they have been trying to get the ongoing issues resolved for three years.

The National House Building Council (NHBC) is leading an investigation into the development of the complex.

WHA, which purchased the flats from developers Persimmon Homes, said residents were moved out as a “direct result of how the flats were built by the developer.”

Housing associations offer social housing similar to local councils – often to people on a low income or who need extra support.

Persimmon homes has said it is ‘aware’ of issues at Philmont Court.

The WHA say repair work is covered under the NHBC new build warranty and includes meeting reasonable costs for re-housing where this is required.

The NHBC says it is working with all residents to facilitate the rehousing process.

This includes support with finding a new home, deposit for that home and removal expenses.

A spokesperson from the WHA said: “Like residents, we purchased these new homes ten years ago believing them to be well built. We discovered that in some instances the buildings have not been constructed in accordance with the how they were designed. Fortunately it is possible to put this right.

“Because the problems at Philmont Court are a direct result of how the flats were built by the developer, the cost of repairing these properties and returning them to the standard they should have been built to is covered under the NHBC new home warranty.

“We fully explored the possibility of carrying out the work without the need to move people from their homes, but technical experts from NHBC, external consultants and contractors all agreed that it would be unsafe for residents to remain in their homes.

“The NHBC is working closely with residents to help them with the re-housing process and provide financial support to meet the additional costs involved.”

Andy Peters managing director for Persimmon Homes South Midlands, said: “We are aware of issues at Philmont Court and we are in close liaison with the NHBC, who are leading the matter.

“All works are covered under residents’ Buildmark Choice warranty.

“As the NHBC is the lead on this, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

An NHBC spokesperson said: “We are sorry the residents at Philmont Court have experienced issues with their homes.

“The homes are covered by NHBC’s Buildmark Choice warranty and insurance policy and we are currently working with the housing association, Whitefriars Housing Group, and the residents to ensure the remedial works can be carried out as swiftly and effectively as possible.

“Due to the nature of the work to be carried out, it has been essential for the health, safety and wellbeing of all residents that we move them into temporary comparable accommodation at no cost to them, whilst we carry out the necessary remedial repairs to address the problems at the development.

“We understand the situation has been concerning for residents and we appreciate the cooperation from both residents and Whitefriars Housing Group during this period.”

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