RESIDENTS facing an emergency evacuation from their high-rise homes in south-east London said yesterday that their safety concerns had been “ignored for decades.”
A total of 242 homes in four towers in Peckham may be unsafe, according to an investigation and gas supplies were cut to all blocks on the Ledbury estate on Thursday after the buildings failed gas checks.
People living in the Peterchurch, Bromyard, Skenfirth and Sarnsfield blocks have been instructed to move out to temporary accommodation within “the next few weeks” and told to shower at a nearby leisure centre.
Hannan Majid, who lives on the 12th floor of Bromyard, said the building was riddled with cracks “large enough to drop books through.”
He added: “There’s draughts and if someone’s smoking it comes right through. What does that mean for ‘compartmentalisation’ if the building catches fire?
“The council said the cracks are normal but this is not normal. People have been complaining and ignored about this for decades.”
Structural engineers Arup were brought in initally to investigate the cracks after residents expressed concerns following the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Residents feared the cracks could allow a fire to spread from flat to flat.
However, an independent surveyor, who went to look at the building on request of worried tenants, spotted parallel problems relating to the gas supply.
The Ledbury blocks were built in a similar way to the Ronan Point estate in Newham, which partially collapsed in 1968 due to a small gas explosion, killing four people and injuring 17.