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Post Ledbury Towers to be evacuated due to gas risk which has been present for decades.

(75 Posts)
HelenaDove Thu 10-Aug-17 18:51:39

Sorry about copy and paste I cant do screen shots.

Replying to ****@peterwalker99******
It's Ledbury estate by Old Kent Rd, built in late 60s using concrete panels, same as Ronan Point, where gas blast in 68 killed four people
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Peter Walker‏Verified account ****@peterwalker99****** 37m37 minutes ago
After Ronan Point all such blocks with gas supplies were meant to have been reinforced. Southwark council only just found Ledbury wasn't.
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Peter Walker‏Verified account ****@peterwalker99****** 36m36 minutes ago
It's pretty astonishing: 500+ people living in blocks which could have collapsed like house of cards in a gas explosion. For decades
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Peter Walker‏Verified account ****@peterwalker99****** 35m35 minutes ago
They've all had gas cut off, so most have no cooking, hot water or heating. Letter says they can go to local leisure centre for showers
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Peter Walker‏Verified account ****@peterwalker99****** 35m35 minutes ago
Southwark say they will "decant|" residents so checks and work can be done – ie moved out. Many residents furious.
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Peter Walker‏Verified account ****@peterwalker99****** 34m34 minutes ago
One resident said: "I cannot describe my anger. It's a miracle nothing has happened." Says residents fear blocks will be knocked down.
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Peter Walker‏Verified account ****@peterwalker99****** 32m32 minutes ago
It perhaps says a lot about modern London that 500+ poorer people have spent years living in homes which are hugely and obviously unsafe.

HelenaDove Thu 10-Aug-17 18:54:17

Document on what happened at Ronan Point in 1968.

HelenaDove Thu 10-Aug-17 19:13:14

Channel 4 news covering it now.

HelenaDove Thu 10-Aug-17 19:50:04

Southwark council have contacted the Gov because other buildings may have same risk according to channel 4 news.

HelenaDove Thu 10-Aug-17 20:11:45

HelenaDove Thu 10-Aug-17 20:12:56

Hundreds of people have been told they will have to leave their homes on an estate of tower blocks in London after safety checks carried out following the Grenfell Tower fire found the buildings had been at risk of collapse for decades.

In a development with potentially major implications for blocks elsewhere, residents of the Ledbury estate said they were shocked and alarmed to learn that the four 13-storey blocks were at risk of collapse in the event of a gas explosion in one of the flats.

Southwark council, which owns the blocks in Peckham, south-east London, has sent a letter to residents of the 242 flats saying they will have to “temporarily decant the blocks over the coming weeks and months” for emergency works.

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The council has immediately ordered the gas supplies to be cut off, leaving most residents without cooking facilities, hot water and heating. The letter said officials would distribute electric hotplates and that residents could take showers at a local leisure centre.

The discovery that the blocks are structurally unsafe heralds a potential new series of safety worries about high-rise flats, which since the Grenfell Tower blaze have mainly been focused on fire safety, notably flammable cladding.

Arnold Tarling, a surveyor and fire safety expert who first spotted the problem at the Ledbury estate, said it was likely there would be many other blocks around the country with similar problems.

The Ledbury blocks were constructed between 1968 and 1970 using a method called large panel system, in which giant concrete sections were bolted together on site. The same technique was used at Ronan Point, a tower block in east London which partly collapsed in 1968 following a gas explosion. Four people died and 17 were injured when a blast from a gas stove in an 18th-storey flat caused a series of floors to collapse on to each other, one of the most notorious public disasters of the era.

An investigation said buildings built using the same method must be reinforced, or else have no gas supply. Southwark council, which took over the Ledbury blocks from the former Greater London Council, said it believed they had been strengthened.

After the Grenfell Tower blaze, which killed at least 80 people, worried residents urged action over big cracks in walls between flats on the estate, which they feared could allow a fire to spread through a block. They asked Tarling to check the cracks, but while on the estate he raised parallel concerns about the gas supply, identifying the structure as potentially unsafe.

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Southwark had already employed engineers Arup to examine the blocks, and on Thursday the council wrote to residents saying its belief that the buildings had been reinforced “may not be correct”. The gas supply was being turned off and locals would be moved out, the letter said.

A council spokeswoman said it was not yet known how long residents would need to leave for, as this depended on further surveys.

One resident, who asked to not be named, said she was appalled to learn she had been “living for years in a death trap”. “I cannot describe my level of anger at Southwark council,” she said. “Not only is the gas supply illegal, but the structure of the building is potentially unsafe. It’s a miracle no one was killed over this time.”

The resident said it was an insult to ask people to shower at leisure centres, saying they should be moved to hotels. “We’ve got people in their 80s, who are blind, who are being asked to traipse along with their towels and a change of clothes.”

Tarling said he was aghast at the safety lapse. “As soon as I walked in and saw the gas supply, I knew it was all wrong,” he said. “Southwark council did not listen to me, and you really have to question their competence.”

In a statement, Southwark’s deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, Stephanie Cryan, said: “We didn’t own the blocks when they were constructed at the end of the 1960s, but all the reports we found suggested the blocks were strengthened following the Ronan Point incident in 1968 to make them safe to include a gas supply.

“Arup’s structural investigations suggest this strengthening may not have occurred, and we have therefore turned off the gas until further investigations can be done.”

The council had written to the Department of Communities and Local Government about the issue, she added, “as it may well have implications for other blocks around the country that were constructed in this way”

AngeloftheSouth84 Thu 10-Aug-17 20:40:32

I presume you live there, then?

HelenaDove Thu 10-Aug-17 20:44:01

No i live elsewhere. I just thought id start a thread on here.

Mychildcouldnotbreaatfeed Thu 10-Aug-17 20:46:16

Oh lord. What a mess. They were so so lucky nothing happened.

HelenaDove Fri 11-Aug-17 13:36:23

HelenaDove Fri 11-Aug-17 22:23:55

Logistically i wonder how on earth are disabled tenants going to manage.

HelenaDove Fri 11-Aug-17 22:32:10

zoobaby Fri 11-Aug-17 22:48:41

It is a shock and it is bad. Makes you wonder about every single tower block under local authority jurisdiction.

Camden successfully decanted 4 tower blocks, over 500 households, for about 6 weeks or so. It wasn't ideal for anyone, but it was done. Most were accommodated in hotels after an initial period of living at the local leisure centre. Vulnerable people (age, medical condition etc) were prioritised.

Southwark will find a way to do it because, quite simply, they have to.

HelenaDove Sat 12-Aug-17 18:20:54

HelenaDove Sun 13-Aug-17 01:40:26

Some tenants had their doors forced so they could get in and turn off the gas.

They didnt even want to wait until they had returned home from work.

SerfTerf Sun 13-Aug-17 01:48:11

After Ronan Point all such blocks with gas supplies were meant to have been reinforced. Southwark council only just found Ledbury wasn't.

That is extraordinarily bad.

Ronan point is in all the textbooks as THE housing disaster (pre Grenfell obviously).

HelenaDove Sun 13-Aug-17 01:49:59

HelenaDove Sun 13-Aug-17 01:51:53

Serf it is absolutely astounding. Its been 49 years.

And yet again tenants are paying the price. twitter hashtag is #LedburyEstate

SerfTerf Sun 13-Aug-17 01:54:54

You know, I increasingly think that local councils and HAs are a bad way to run major things like housing.

Something big like a national housing authority might be better it could hardly be worse

Laughinginyourface Sun 13-Aug-17 01:57:22

Southwark council are a shower of shit, I live 5 mins from this estate In temporary accommodation and there is not enough housing for there poor people, who will more than likely be moved out of London or onto the seriously impoverished Aylesbury estate, which is where I will no doubt be moved to in the coming weeks.

Laughinginyourface Sun 13-Aug-17 01:58:18


SerfTerf Sun 13-Aug-17 02:02:04

It's just too easy for local councils to go bad. They're like little fiefdoms. Things get decided on the golf course or over an Indian. So shady. And tenants don't make it to the top of anyone's priority list.

Laugh I can't believe the Aylesbury Estate is still there.

HelenaDove Sun 13-Aug-17 02:10:15

Video interview with retired architect Sam Webb Includes Ronan Point.

HelenaDove Sun 13-Aug-17 02:23:25

Laugh Im sorry to hear of your situation. thanks

Laughinginyourface Sun 13-Aug-17 02:30:08

serf it won't be for much longer, they've already started knocking it down and are using it mainly for temporary housing.

Thank you helena

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