Anger as delayed £30m Stanhope House tower block for students in Portsmouth leaks at first sign of heavy rain

A NEW £30m tower block for university students that has been plagued by delays has leaked at the first sign of heavy rain.

By Tom Cotterill
Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 1:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 4:21 pm

Stanhope House was meant to be completed by September last year. However, the 19-storey building still remains incomplete, with its ground floor empty.

And in a fresh blow, the firm has this week been blasted by students after Storm Dennis breached the building, causing rain water to flood student halls, damaging rooms and communal areas.

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Flooding at Stanhope House in Portsmouth after water leaks in the bad weather in February 2020.

Prime Student Living insisted only a ‘small number of rooms’ had been affected and that repairs were under way.

However, frustrated University of Portsmouth students living in the building – some of whom moved in just weeks ago – have lashed out.

One university student, 25, said he was woken up by water splashing on his face when heavy rain got in through a leak in the window.

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University of Portsmouth students start to move into delayed Stanhope House
Flooding at Stanhope House in Portsmouth after water leaks in the bad weather in February 2020.

The student, who asked not to be identified, said: ‘The damage is hard to judge at this early stage but the laminate floor is beginning to peel up in places, paint is peeling off walls, the wood of furniture seems to have drawn it up so they'll probably start rotting like some of the windowsills.

‘Other people have had belongings like uni bags and clothes soaked, I know my laptop only escaped splashes from the windowsill after my face got wet while in bed.’

Catrina Prince, 45, of Whiteley, has a son living at Stanhope House and was furious by the leak.

She said: ‘I’ve seen pictures and it looks like there is a swimming pool in the kitchen. It looks like parts of the roof are about to cave in. It’s in a dangerous state.

Stanhope House, Portsmouth, which has been marred by delays after 256 rooms were not ready for the start of term. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘What’s happened is diabolical and there has been complete radio silence from Prime Student Living when we tried to get in touch.’

PSL did not confirm how many rooms had been damaged.

However, the company’s marketing director Charlie Pogson insisted they were doing everything they could to repair the building as quickly as possible.

He said: ‘We have a small number of rooms on one side of the building that experienced minor water ingress around the windows as a result of extensive rain and wind.

‘Students living in the rooms affected have been offered alternative bedrooms within the building temporarily whilst the situation is being rectified.

‘Repairs commenced on Monday with each room taking approximately one day to resolve. As soon as rooms have been repaired students will return to their own rooms.’

As previously reported, more than 250 students were placed in alternative accommodation when Stanhope House was not ready at the start of the academic year.

Students were forced to live in hotels when the 256-bed while Crosslane Student Developments finished constructing the site.

In December, PSL was found to have breached a student housing code of conduct following delays in the project.