Homes still propped up by scaffolding

Lee Jessop with his six-month-old son Jason, next to some of the scaffolding.
Lee Jessop with his six-month-old son Jason, next to some of the scaffolding.
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More than a year after a balcony collapsed on a Blackpool street, residents are still living with scaffolding surrounding their homes.

Now they are calling on housing chiefs to get the repairs done as soon as possible.

Lee Jessop with his six-month-old son Jason, next to some of the scaffolding.

Lee Jessop with his six-month-old son Jason, next to some of the scaffolding.

Scaffolding was installed at a number of council-owned properties in Blackpool as a precautionary measure after a second storey walkway at Newby Place, Mereside, came crashing down in May last year.

Engineers propped up balconies at other blocks of flats of the same design as Newby Place which had to be evacuated.

But more than 12 months on, repairs have yet to be made.

Now Blackpool Coastal Housing (BCH), which manages the homes on behalf of the council, says it is about to start work.

Lee Jessop, 40, who shares his home at Furness Court, Grange Park, with his partner Laura Coles, 28, and their two children, says they are fed up with living surrounded by scaffolding.

He said: “We can use the balcony, but it doesn’t look great and you don’t really feel that safe.

“We also don’t know if we will have to move out at any time while the work is done, so there is a lot of uncertainty.

“I would like to be kept informed a bit better.

“It has been more than a year now, and we would just like to have the work done.”

A spokesman for BCH said the work is due to begin shortly.

He said: “We are currently working to replace balconies in a number of our properties.

“This is an important process which will allow tenants to feel confident in the safety of their properties and the external walkways.

“We have been in touch with contractors who can help us to complete the project and will be able to begin the work shortly.”

The spokesman added: “As well as liaising with tenants throughout the process, we will contact people again soon to discuss the exact timescales of the work on their properties.

“It is understandable that some tenants are concerned about the aesthetic look of the flats but we are working to start these repairs as soon as possible.”

An investigation into the cause of the Newby Place collapse is being carried out by the Health and Safety Executive.

A spokesman for the HSE said the inquiry was “still ongoing.”

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