Dangerous 10ft metal pole falls from roof of Orchard Village Rainham block again

PUBLISHED: 09:46 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:08 10 May 2017

Colin Nickless holding the metal pole that fell off the building. Picture: Colin Nickless.

Colin Nickless holding the metal pole that fell off the building. Picture: Colin Nickless.

Colin Nickless

The lives of residents were once again put at risk after a 10ft metal pole fell off the roof of a building, last week.

Shockingly, this is not the first time such an incident has happened at the problem-ridden Orchard Village estate in Rainham.

In January 2015, Zoe Allen, of Snowdrop Court, was walking with her children when the heavy object fell from the third floor of the block. And in May that year a mum-of-four, who wished to remain unnamed, saw a slab of concrete fall from the roof of a block into her garden.

“I have been here 20 months or so and it’s the third time [it has happened] since I have been here,” said chair of the resident association Colin Nickless.

According to Mr Nickless the pole fell from the roof of the estate’s Sunflower Court, Lower Mardyke Avenue, on Thursday, last week. “It’s a big 10ft bit of metal. It’s quite sharp and it has been stuck with double-sided tape then stuck to the roof,” he continued.

“I am sure the [building] plans did not include sticking 10 bits of metal with double-sided tape.

“They [Clarion Housing – formerly Circle Housing] did not repair the thing properly.

“This fell on Thursday and was reported by residents on Friday. The call centre and the cleaners were told and the neighbourhood officers.

“I was really surprised yesterday to see it was still lying in the road.

“It’s dangerous for the kids.”

Residents have been plagued with problems, and, Cllr Phil Martin (Ukip, South Hornchurch), went as far as to say the building should be condemned.

Speaking at January’s full council meeting he said: “Residents’ lives have been blighted by the sub-standard building work that has taken place.

“The only solution is its demolition and complete reconstruction.”

Cllr Michael Deon Burton called the issue a “life threatening affair”.

“If there was ever a time for plain speaking it is now, that which should have been a flagship estate in the south of the borough, is considered by far too many at this time as just a Havering embarrassment.”

Mr Nickless continued: “If someone is killed it would not be an excuse that they [Clarion Housing] did not know and go back and say lessons will be learned.”

A spokeswoman for Clarion said the object was not a pole but a piece of metal cladding to the side of the building and not the roof.

“It isn’t acceptable for parts cladding to come loose and as such we have immediately made the area safe,” she said.

“ Fortunately Wilmott Dixon already have a cherry picker scheduled to be on site from Monday so we will be utilising this to check the suitability of the current fittings for the cladding across all of the blocks to ensure this does not happen again.

“If necessary we will arrange for all cladding to be re-fixed using a different type of reinforcement and use an interim measure to ensure its safety in the meantime.”

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