Residents ‘living in a flu camp’ as plastic sheeting blocks all light into Gosport tower blocks

FAMILIES left living in darkness in five Gosport tower blocks will meet with a housing group this week to air their grievances.

By David George
Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 6:13 pm
Work started on the tower blocks last year. Picture: David George
Work started on the tower blocks last year. Picture: David George

Residents at Harbour, Seaward, Hammond, Blake and Garland tower blocks say they are at their wits’ end with the plastic sheeting that has been left around the buildings.

As well as getting no natural sunlight, residents have been forced to leave their heating on through winter – and now face having to keep their windows shut during the summer months.

Housing association Hyde is replacing the cladding on the towers post-Grenfell, but with work being delayed month after month the residents are demanding answers.

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Harbour Tower in Gosport. Picture: David George

On Thursday evening, residents from all five tower blocks will meet with Hyde, as well as contractor Axis, to discuss the future of the buildings.

One of these residents, 37-year-old Chris Latham, lives in Garland Court with his girlfriend Erica.

He says that Hyde has kept residents updated via a notice board, but that delays to work have been swept under the carpet.

According to him, residents have ‘lost faith’ in Hyde to get the job done.

‘We have to keep our lights on 24/7 and can’t open any of our windows – which is going to be a problem during the summer,’ said Mr Latham.

‘Because of that there is no air flow in the building; quite a lot of people want to move out. It feels like we’re living in a flu camp.’

‘Doing five towers at once has probably spread their workers too thinly.

‘The safety threat was dealt with once the old cladding was removed – after that, I think they should have just done one tower block at a time.’

Brent O’Halloran, director of asset management at the Hyde Group, said: ‘We understand that this is a difficult time for our residents and are sorry for the disruption it is causing.

‘However, resident safety is our priority and it is vitally important that we remove the cladding from the building and replace it with a safer alternative.

‘We are using plastic sheets because they provide better protection against the elements and keeps the building warmer than mesh would during this work.

‘A meeting is being held on Thursday, where we will be able to provide an update to our residents.’ 

The meeting will take place at St Mary’s Church hall in Gosport High Street from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Thursday.