New homes in Hoxton are falling apart according to residents
PUBLISHED: 10:40 29 October 2012 | UPDATED: 17:03 28 August 2019
An award-winning block of flats in Hoxton is falling apart at the seams just a year after it was built, according to residents living there.
Bridport House, in Bridport Place, which is made of timber and cost £6.8million to build, won a prestigious award sponsored by the government and London Mayor Boris Johnson earlier this year.
But, last Wednesday, Stephen Reid, 26, was startled when he heard around 70 tiles crash on to his terrace from a beam above.
Mr Reid, who moved into the block of 41 flats last October, said: "I'm shocked. It's unbelievable.
"I've been sunbathing there all summer and it could have fallen down on me or my girlfriend.
"We've had children running about on the terrace all summer, and I don't want to contemplate what could have happened."
He said there had been ongoing problems with the block for the last year, saying: "There's been lots of issues with damp. We've had nothing but leaks. Everybody is disgruntled."
A Hackney Council spokesman said that the issue was identified in September but, in emails seen by the Gazette, another resident highlighted the cracks in July.
Mr Reid said: "I'm angry that they knew about cracks in the brick-work and did not tell us."
"The builders Willmott Dixon got in touch with the manufacturers who they said the bricks could not fall down as they were guaranteed for 30 years.
''Now they are putting scaffolding up to take the tiles off because it's too dangerous."
Deborah Reid, 46, a teaching assistant who lives next door, was also angry. She said: "The crack runs along to the gable to our property. I have been out there all summer as I work in a school. They knew about it but we did not even get a letter telling us to be careful.
"They are lovely flats, but we have put up with a lot of defects. We have been very patient."
Cllr Karen Alcock, the deputy mayor of Hackney, said: "The safety of our tenants is of the very highest priority, and this incident is absolutely unacceptable. The council has raised the matter with Willmott Dixon and the affected feature is being made safe while the contractor's engineers investigate further."
A Willmott Dixon spokesman said: "Snagging issues are not uncommon with recently completed property and we have taken prompt action."
Bridport House, which received the Mayor's Housing Design Award, is the first new block to be built on Colville Estate, which is seeing 400 homes demolished and replaced by 880 new homes.
A planning application was submitted in September for the second phase of regeneration.