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Investigations launched into safety of Orchard Village estate

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 May 2015

Orchard Village

Orchard Village

Archant

Extensive investigations are being carried out at a £108million estate described as a “health and safety hazard”.

Several residents of Orchard Village, Rainham, have made reports to Circle Housing Old Ford of metal poles and other building materials falling from the estate.

Zoe Allen, 37, of Snowdrop Court, said she was “so scared” when a pole fell from the third floor of a block of flats, just inches away from her and her two children, aged seven and nine.

She said: “In my opinion, the building is not safe – someone needs to make sure these buildings are OK for us to walk near, let alone live in.”

A mum-of-four who wishes to remain anonymous, said she was shocked when she saw a slab of concrete fall from the roof and into her garden.

She said: “I couldn’t stop looking at it – I’m just relieved it didn’t hurt anyone.”

Orchard Village – formally the Mardyke Estate – was originally built in the 1960s but was knocked down in 2009 as part a regeneration project.

The work, which is still being carried out, will see more than 500 extra homes built.

Cllr Michael Deon Burton, (South Hornchurch, IRG), said: “It is completely unacceptable that the lives of families living here are constantly being put at risk for no good reason.

“The whole estate is a healthy and safety hazard that is falling apart.

“Measures need to be taken to ensure that no ends up getting hurt or even worse.”

Suki Jandu, managing director for Circle Housing Old Ford, said: “We apologise for the distress this has caused and we want to reassure residents that their safety is our absolute priority.

“Along with our contractors, we are carrying out further extensive investigations throughout the estate to find out the cause of this issue.

“We would encourage residents with any concerns to contact our housing officers who are based on site, or visit our weekly drop-in sessions which are open to all members of our local community.”


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