Council spends £350k on scaffolding – with no work taking place

Tenants say they have been left in the dark over planks and poles

Monday, 14th February

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Maureen Rose wants to know what’s going on

THE Town Hall has spent more than £350,000 on scaffolding wrapped around flats without any work taking place.

Residents have now complained that they have been left with months of living in dark homes, amid fears that anti-social behaviour is hidden by the tubes and planks.

People living on both the Chalk Farm and Regent’s Park estates were told scaffolding had to go up due to crumbling window sills last year. Since then, the cost of the scaffolding has grown but nobody has seen any contractors at work.

Maureen Rose said the scaffolding appeared outside the windows of her second-floor flat in Ferdinand Street, Chalk Farm, without warning late one night in November.

No time-frame has been given over how long it will be up and the cost there has been £64,000, according to figures released to the New Journal.

Ms Rose said: “It’s really strange. It’s been up outside my windows for three months now. No one’s actually done anything and I have no idea what it’s there for.”
She added: “I can’t leave my window open because of security. The platform has made it accessible, so it’s dangerous.

“I just wish they would give us some information on why it’s there and how long it will be there for.”

The same issue has developed at the Regent’s Park estate, where a block has been covered in scaffolding since last May – at a cost of nearly £300,000 to Camden.

Danny Bouve, who lives in the estate’s Grasmere building, said after the scaffolding had been up for six months: “The people in the ground-floor flats have no daylight, their homes are completely blocked off by the scaffolding. The people on the first floors can’t open their windows. It’s shocking.”

Sue Humphrys, who also lives in Grasmere, said in November: “The tunnel created is dangerous, I won’t use the back at night. There are no lights and people loiter under the scaffolding.

“It was a problem before but it’s much worse now.”

Una Sapietis, who lives on Maitland Park estate, has also had problems with scaffolding.

She said: “It’s shocking how no one seems to be monitoring these things. It’s public money and there must be hundreds of thousands of pounds involved overall.”

Camden’s housing chief, Labour councillor Meric Apak, said: “The safety of all of our residents is our number one concern, and this scaffolding was quickly erected as a result of a report of a potential risk of falling materials from the buildings.

“In May 2021 we wrote to all residents to explain the situation and the reasons that the scaffolding had been erected.

“Since November 2021 a detailed surveying programme has been undertaken to 14 blocks in order to produce a full report of the specialist repairs that need to be undertaken.”

He added: “We anticipate this report will be available within the next few weeks and we will then be able to procure the specialist contractors who will undertake the works.”

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