'When it’s hot, it’s a sauna’: Residents rally against scaffolding on Romford apartment building
- Credit: Jade Stark/Google
More than 50 neighbours in a Romford apartment building have signed their names in protest against scaffolding "blocking them in" their homes for a year.
Jade Stark, 32, lives in a flat in Vickers House down the road from Queen’s Hospital.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, the owner of the building, Estuary, undertook an investigation into its construction and found essential works must be carried out to improve its fire safety.
This has required the erection of scaffolding from spring 2021, with the works scheduled to finish by 2023.
To protect those carrying out the works, Estuary said, it has been placed as close to Vickers House as possible.
Jade says, however, that because it is so close it has “blocked them in”, with only a gap of 50mm between their outer walls and the scaffolding.
“We can’t even open our windows or [balcony] doors,” Jade added.
She said during last year’s heatwave, residents were unable to improve the ventilation in their homes.
“When it’s hot, it’s a sauna.”
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An Estuary spokesperson said: “Where possible, the scaffolding has been altered to enable residents to open windows, and all flats are also equipped with mechanical ventilation systems.
“Residents cannot be granted access to their balconies at this time because it would pose serious risk to their safety.
“We are discussing some options with the contractor to improve the ventilation further.”
Jade, who lives with her two young children, said she decided to go door-knocking to try and garner signatures about the issue.
She said: “I have signatures from residents, as many as would answer the door or would have been in.
“A lot of residents have stories about how they are at their wit's end and frustrated. We don’t get listened to.
“Everyone has had enough and is appreciative of the action I’m trying to do, not just for myself, but for everyone.”
On the residents’ ongoing concerns, the Estuary spokesperson said: “We understand that this is frustrating for residents and is impacting upon the enjoyment of their homes.
"However, the work is essential to ensure the safety of residents in the event of a fire.”
They said the full works are due to be completed by spring 2023, and Estuary will also hold a meeting with residents in June 2022 to update on the work's progress and schedule.