'Common sense' prevails as Stamford Hill testing centre moved out of estate

A metal fence cuts through an allotment.

The testing site cut through the residents' estate and allotment. - Credit: #protectsandfordcourt

Sandford Court residents are celebrating after news a testing site, set up in their estate, will be relocated a month early. 

Residents rallied together and created a campaign group called Protect Sandford Court in response to the construction of the test site in October, 2020, after being given just 12 hours notice. 

The group's chairperson Keisha, who preferred not to use her last name, said: “It was too much for us to bear celebrating Hannukah and Christmas next to a Covid testing centre.

"We’re delighted that common sense has now prevailed."

However, the group remains concerned about the lasting impact on the mental health consequences of residents.

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Campaigners launched a petition which got over 150 signatures in three days from residents from Sandford Court, St Andrew’s Mews and the local neighbourhood,

An open door looking out onto a metal fence

Residents have won a battle to remove a testing site built on their estate. - Credit: #protectsandfordcourt

They also arranged campaign meetings with health chief Cllr Chris Kennedy and Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health for City and Hackney. 

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Residents at the estate learned the news after receiving a letter from the council of Monday January 11, signed by Cllr Chris Kennedy. 

The letter read: ""The original contract with the Department of Health and Social Care requires us to have the Sandford Court testing station in place until at least the middle of February.

"However, given the proximity to residents, we have successfully argued that it should be moved before then."

The site's new location will be the Sandford Hill Bus Garage on Rookwood Road, which recently became vacant. Testing will recommenced from that location on January 13.

Removal of the Sandford Court facility will begin the same day.

The council added: "While we have acknowledged that a residential setting is not an ideal location for this facility, it has to date been the only available site in the vicinity and we have worked hard to ensure it has not posed an increased health risk to Sandford Court residents and to minimise disruption as far as possible."

Follow Protect Sandford Court on twitter @sandfordcourt

If you or anyone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus, get a test by calling 119 or visiting ​www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

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