‘It could have killed someone’: Now balcony falls off Hackney Council’s ill-fated Bridport House
PUBLISHED: 08:08 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:14 20 February 2019
Hackney Council is investigating how the huge metal underside of one of the balconies fell from the second floor of the ill-fated Bridport House development, two years after concerns were flagged up about them.
Council tenants realised something was up on Sunday morning when they “heard a loud bang” at the social housing tower block in Bridport Place, opposite Hoxton Park.
Last summer the council had to dispel rumours the wooden-framed building built by Willmott Dixon was falling down. In December test results from another investigation revealed bricks were never fixed correctly to the outside of the building, finally solving the mystery of why the council tower block was still defective seven years after construction.
Michael Jones told the Gazette: “For some reason the piece of metal swung around and went into the lady’s balcony underneath.
“If it had gone straight down and someone was walking in their garden below it could have hit them on their head. The noise it made, I reckon it could have killed a person if it hit them wrong. It’s lucky it wasn’t summer time.”
Mr Jones claims he reported a problem with the balconies two years ago, when another one of the metal trays, which are riveted to the underside of the balconies, started to come away and had to be welded back on.
“When it rains on our balconies the water trays underneath collect the water, and the holes are too small to release the water so it builds up,” he said. “There’s been no investigation. It’s like going round in circles. When we have meetings we bring up issues and they go away and nothing happens.”
Philip Glanville, mayor of Hackney, said: “We take incidents like this very seriously, and as soon as I was contacted by residents I asked the council to investigate. We are currently investigating what caused this, what repair work is needed and any action we need to take to ensure this cannot happen again.”
Work was supposed to have started after Christmas to painstakingly remove bricks and install fixings behind them to make sure they don’t crack in future, but is delayed while legal agreements are agreed.
“It’s a disaster, isn’t it,” said Mr Jones. “It’s been a disaster from day one and it’s seven years now.”