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City council apologises for ‘unacceptable’ five-year delay to repair flats

The work saw the ceiling boards above the external stairwells and walkways removed, exposing the woodwork and concrete underneath. Photo: Luke Powell

The work saw the ceiling boards above the external stairwells and walkways removed, exposing the woodwork and concrete underneath. Photo: Luke Powell

Archant

Norwich City Council has apologised for a five-year delay in carrying out repairs to a block of flats in Mile Cross - after initially promising it would take just a few weeks.

The block of flats at Lefroy Road in Mile Cross. Photo: Luke PowellThe block of flats at Lefroy Road in Mile Cross. Photo: Luke Powell

People living at Lefroy Road claim they were told ceiling boards outside their flats would be replaced within weeks after being taken out in 2013.

But five years on and the council is still yet to carry out the work, despite repeated requests from residents.

Linda Jacomb, 72, said: “I want it fixed because one, it looks a mess, two it leaks, and three I don’t want bits of concrete falling on my head.

“In 2015 someone [from the council] was looking around and I asked about it, and they said they [the council] would put a tender in for the work. That was the last we heard.”

People living at Lefroy Road claim they were told ceiling boards outside their flats would be replaced within weeks after being taken out in 2013. Photo: Luke PowellPeople living at Lefroy Road claim they were told ceiling boards outside their flats would be replaced within weeks after being taken out in 2013. Photo: Luke Powell

The initial work saw the ceiling boards above the external stairwells and walkways removed, exposing the woodwork and concrete underneath.

The council said the work was carried out as part of a structural survey and that the boards did not contain asbestos.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said they were told the repairs would be complete within weeks.

Although the council did not reveal when the repairs had been scheduled to take place, a spokesman admitted there had been an “unacceptable” delay.

Bits of concrete that had fallen from the walkway above Mrs Jacomb's door at Lefroy Road. Photo: Luke PowellBits of concrete that had fallen from the walkway above Mrs Jacomb's door at Lefroy Road. Photo: Luke Powell

Since being contacted by this newspaper, the council said a contractor had been instructed to replace the ceiling boards “as a matter of urgency”.

Mrs Jacomb said water leaking down from the walkway above had caused bits of concrete to weaken and fall onto her front doorstep.

“I have kept the concrete in a bag,” she said. “I am worried that the whole thing will come down because it has been exposed for so long.”

Mrs Jacomb, who has lived on the estate since 2001, said she felt as though the Mile Cross area was neglected compared to other parts of the city.

However she said the council had recently installed new doors to some of the flats in the block.

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “We apologise to our residents for the unacceptable delay in carrying out these repairs and will be investigating how this has happened.

“In the meantime, we have instructed our contractor to replace the ceiling boards as a matter of urgency.”

• Do you have problem that is not being rectified? Email luke.powell@archant.co.uk

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