‘Fake’ bricks ‘falling’ off brand new homes but council says gaps are for ‘children’s art’

A South London council has rejected residents claims of “fake” bricks “falling” from brand new council flats, insisting that random gaps have been purposefully left behind for the insertion of additional bricks designed by local children.

Southwark Council has recently renovated a brand new block on the Aylesbury Estate, Walworth.

Pictures of a block of flats currently under construction on Westmoreland Road were posted online by 35% campaign, a campaign group named after the failure to meet the council’s minimum policy requirement of 35 per cent affordable housing as part of the regeneration of Heygate Estate, which has now been demolished.

They tweeted: “The fake bricks are already falling off new #AylesburyEstate council homes and they’re not even finished yet.”

READ MORE: Top human rights group issues appalling verdict on children’s housing in London

Pictures appear to show random gaps of brickwork exposed onto different outer walls of the building, with one large gap of brickwork noticeable on one of the sides.

One person commented: “What a joke. Certain councils seem intent on demolishing previously well built council housing in order to replace them with complete tat.”

While another said: “Pritt stick failure.”

“Literally so sad, they knocked down a perfectly good brutalist estate that residents voted against the demolition of multiple times, it just needed renovation and care and now this,” replied a third person.

Regeneration has begun on some parts of the Aylesbury Estate

The council’s regeneration of Aylesbury Estate, one of the largest public housing estates in Europe, has notoriously come under fire for allegedly displacing thousands of residents out of their homes to make way for regeneration plans.

Campaigners argue that regenerating the “perfectly good” estate will cost far more and take a longer amount of time than just refurbishing it.

The tweet, posted on Saturday (January 15) has since been shared over a 100 times, however the council broke its silence and stepped in to defend the brickwork in a response posted on Monday (January 17).

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Replying to the tweet, it said: “Good afternoon. Local children have been designing bricks to be inserted at random locations on the elevations of the buildings. These are the spaces you have incorrectly identified in your tweet.”

The council attached a picture of a group of children and adults wearing blue builders hats as they stood behind a pile of colourful bricks.

Banners for Notting Hill Genesis, the housing association delivering the Aylesbury Estate regeneration along with Southwark Council, can also be seen in the back of the photo.

However people remain sceptical following the council’s response, with one commenting: “This definitely doesn’t seem to be true.

“The bricks the kids have decorated are full bricks while the photos in the original post show brick slips fallen off (and what looks like several more cracked and lose slips).”

Gaps of brick were spotted by residents on random parts of a new build block of council flats

Gaps of brick were spotted by residents on random parts of a new build block of council flats

Meanwhile a spokesperson from 35% campaign replied: “Thanks. Good luck! Hope your contractors are going to use some super-strong glue.. Ps. Wouldn’t it have made sense to put them in before the scaffolding came down?”

Stephanie Cryan, Southwark Cabinet Member for Council Homes and Homelessness jumped to the defence of the council, explaining: “Local children have worked hard in this and are looking forward to seeing their designs being made a permanent feature of the homes many of them will be living in.

“It’s a good thing and we should be celebrating the talents and enthusiasm of local children.”

A Southwark Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of some gaps in the brickwork of new buildings on the Aylesbury Estate which are still undergoing construction.

“No bricks or brick slips have fallen off. Some gaps are where brickwork is not yet complete or have been purposely removed by the contractor as they did not meet the necessary aesthetic standards required.

“Other gaps are where bricks designed by local children will be installed.”

Are you a Southwark resident living on the Aylesbury Estate? What do you think of the regeneration? Get in contact with Ruby at [email protected]

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