Home South London Furious families live on a south London building site for years

Furious families live on a south London building site for years

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Furious families have spoken out after living on a south London building site for years, they say it has made their homes dark and cold. 

Builders have been working on Chilton Grove in Rotherhithe since 2019, when Southwark Council began to build 48 new homes on top of the four blocks that make up the estate. None of the homes have been built so far.

Residents were promised new windows, front doors, cladding and neighbours as part of the renovations.

Instead they have had to live in cold and dark flats for over two years as scaffolding blocked out the sunlight and cladding was ripped out but not replaced. 

Despite this, none of the 48 new homes have been built because experts fear the existing buildings’ foundations aren’t strong enough to support the extra flats. 

Resident Jenny St John said she just wanted the council to get the work over and done with.

She said: “We just want them to come and go and do it. 

“We couldn’t do anything with our gardens for two years because the scaffolding covered most of them. We still had to pay for them. It’s a bit rough really. 

“Everything died because there was no light. I had rose bushes and they all had to be cut back. It killed the tree, but the birds still go in there so I don’t want to take it down. 

“There was a real palava with the windows because they weren’t the right fit. 

“Because they’ve removed the cladding it’s definitely colder, you can feel it. If they won’t give us something extra for the heating it’s a bit unfair. 

“At least the scaffolding has gone and we are going to have a good Christmas without it, hopefully.” 

Her neighbour, Martin, who has lived at Chilton Grove for almost a decade, said he was fed up with the work, but glad to have his garden back since the scaffolding was removed in August.

The 78-year-old said: “It took two years to get my garden back.

“I am clinically extremely vulnerable. I’m diabetic and I didn’t have space to exercise during lockdown because of the scaffolding in the garden.

“The scaffolding has gone now but it was so dark in the house for two years. You had to have the lights on all the time. 

“They never gave me any compensation for it or anything. They are just here for the profit as far as I know.”

Around the corner, engineering student, Lawa, 25,  has lived in Chilton Grove all his life.

He said: “All the builders disappeared in November before the cold started. They informed us they might restart the building work but because of costs they are putting it on hold and they packed up the scaffolding. 

“But without the cladding back on it’s bringing the cold in more and we’re having to put the heating on more.”

Southwark Council intended to add two levels to each of the two four-storey and two six-storey apartment blocks that make up the Chilton Grove estate.

If built, the new apartments would create 48 new homes at social rent on the estate, which currently has 68 flats.

Planning permission was granted for the new apartments in 2018 and construction work began in summer 2019.

The new homes were supposed to be completed by winter 2020. 

But the project has been hit with delays because of concerns the existing apartment blocks will buckle under the weight of the extra floors. 

Councillor Stephanie Cryan. cabinet member for council homes, said: “Chilton Grove… that’s an example of how we really wouldn’t do new homes going forward, especially rooftops. That’s one where planning permission was given prior to any structural survey reports being done, any building control sign off.

“I want to give assurances that we won’t go for planning on any rooftop developments until we have absolute assurance from building control that it’s safe to do so.”

Kieron Williams, leader of Southwark Council added: “Our commitment has always been and will always continue to be to work with everybody on an estate when we’re looking at delivering new homes.”

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https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/19776790.furious-families-live-south-london-building-site-years/