Following rigorous and independent structural surveys of our tower blocks at Crosley Wood in Bingley (Brunswick, Adelaide and Peel House) Incommunities has taken the decision to rehouse all the remaining residents living there over the next twelve months.
There are 129 residents living at the three high-rise blocks.
The survey work was carried out over the Spring on our blocks and follows the national review of this type of housing in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.
The survey found that although the buildings are structurally sound and have stood safety since they were built over 50 years ago, the presence of a piped gas supply in the building does present a risk and needs to be removed. The cost and disruption of this makes the future of these buildings unviable given that demand for these properties is very low.
Our residents’ safety is our top priority and during the period of inspection and surveys we have completed a number of safety improvements. This includes replacing gas cookers with electric and installing Solenoid gas valves in each property, which cuts off the gas supply in case of a leak.
These three tower blocks are the only ones of this construction type that we own and no other Incommunities’ blocks are affected in this way.
Incommunities has been undertaking an options appraisal into the future of the three blocks due to their lack of demand – 31% of the flats are empty and this has been an issue for a number of years. The blocks have also had a high turnover with 38% of residents leaving to move.
We are visiting all our residents from today (2nd August) and hand delivering letters to explain this decision and the next steps. We have also set up a dedicated team of staff on site over the next few days, who will be meeting each resident to discuss their personal needs and working to ensure everyone is offered a continuing secure tenancy with us, if this is their choice. We are committed to supporting everyone through the process.
All residents will also be offered an appropriate home loss and disturbance payment to compensate for the costs of moving home or re-location if the tenants choose to move to other areas. They will also be offered assistance in moving.
As well as contacting our dedicated team, customers can call our Customer Service Centre on 01274 257777 who can organise for one of our team to get in touch.
Geraldine Howley, Incommunities Group Chief Executive, said: "We fully appreciate that this is a very difficult time for some residents but the safety of our customers is paramount.
"We are also committed to keeping everyone fully in the picture. Our teams will work with all residents to listen closely to what they want and need from a new home and strive to meet their needs.
"We plan to move everyone over the next twelve months, however this will depend on the availability of properties and the individual preferences of residents."