Three balconies collapse at Berkley Manor flats on Poole Road

Bournemouth Echo: DANGER: Berkley Manor at Poole Road where three balconies collapsed overnight DANGER: Berkley Manor at Poole Road where three balconies collapsed overnight

THREE balconies crashed to the ground from a block of flats in Poole yesterday.

Residents of Berkley Manor, Poole Road, were woken at 12.40am by an “earthquake” noise as the balconies cascaded and occupants screamed.

Those living in the flats expressed anger that they had been put at risk, months after first being warned by the firm managing the property not to use the balconies.

In January metal fencing was erected below each block as a precautionary measure and a warning notice displayed in the lobby.

Sam Fisher, 26, who lives on the first floor, was one of those with an affected balcony and said he had first noticed it sagging at the end of 2011, but never expected it to fall in such dramatic fashion.

“There was an almighty bang. It felt like an earthquake and we could hear people above us screaming,” he added.

The fire brigade and police attended the scene as people rushed from the building in their bed clothes.

The occupant of the ground floor flat, who did not want to be named, said she had been terrified and shouted to the fire crew to ask whether it was safe to come out.

“I was left out in the cold in the middle of the night with my four month-old-baby and didn’t know what to do or where to go.

“I’m petrified to go back.”

Peter Coleman, 24, who lives with 23-year-old girlfriend Marilena Tella on the top floor of the property, said he had received an email in January four days after moving in stating the balcony should not be used.

“We still don’t know when we will be allowed to go back in to collect our belongings,” he added.

John Whitelock, director at JM Harding and Partners, which manages the properties, said structural engineers, surveyors, insurers and loss adjusters would be visiting the site to make assessments.

“The main thing at the moment is to make the building safe,” he added.

Comments (31)

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8:05am Fri 18 Apr 14

High Treason says...

How on earth did they get building approval with such an obvious design flaw.
Hard to tell from the photos but it appears as if the very heavy brick balconies were built on a concrete raft extending from the building. perhaps it was the same builders as Castle Point car park.
How on earth did they get building approval with such an obvious design flaw. Hard to tell from the photos but it appears as if the very heavy brick balconies were built on a concrete raft extending from the building. perhaps it was the same builders as Castle Point car park. High Treason
  • Score: 32

8:17am Fri 18 Apr 14

funkyferret says...

So why has it taken 3 months to take any action having identified the balconies were dangerous, yet the moment they fall structural engineers, surveyors, insurers and loss adjusters all suddenly become involved?
It sounds incredibly fortunate that no-one was injured by the falling debris.
So why has it taken 3 months to take any action having identified the balconies were dangerous, yet the moment they fall structural engineers, surveyors, insurers and loss adjusters all suddenly become involved? It sounds incredibly fortunate that no-one was injured by the falling debris. funkyferret
  • Score: 48

8:30am Fri 18 Apr 14

retry69 says...

What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down? retry69
  • Score: 6

8:41am Fri 18 Apr 14

High Treason says...

retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
[quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down. High Treason
  • Score: 17

8:45am Fri 18 Apr 14

retry69 says...

High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
They changed the wording :)
[quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]They changed the wording :) retry69
  • Score: 12

8:46am Fri 18 Apr 14

retry69 says...

Or should I be wearing my glasses :)
Or should I be wearing my glasses :) retry69
  • Score: 5

9:23am Fri 18 Apr 14

live-and-let-live says...

those flats have looked shabby and neglected for years.
those flats have looked shabby and neglected for years. live-and-let-live
  • Score: 7

9:25am Fri 18 Apr 14

live-and-let-live says...

I 'd also like to say that i'm glad no one was injured.
I 'd also like to say that i'm glad no one was injured. live-and-let-live
  • Score: 9

9:43am Fri 18 Apr 14

RM says...

Very pleased that no-one was injured but surely it's negligence on someone's part if the residents were told 3 months ago not to use the balconies but no repairs had been carried out?
Very pleased that no-one was injured but surely it's negligence on someone's part if the residents were told 3 months ago not to use the balconies but no repairs had been carried out? RM
  • Score: 15

9:51am Fri 18 Apr 14

Lord Spring says...

High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
[quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo Lord Spring
  • Score: 2

9:54am Fri 18 Apr 14

Lord Spring says...

RM wrote:
Very pleased that no-one was injured but surely it's negligence on someone's part if the residents were told 3 months ago not to use the balconies but no repairs had been carried out?
Had they not placed Acrow props as a temp measure.
[quote][p][bold]RM[/bold] wrote: Very pleased that no-one was injured but surely it's negligence on someone's part if the residents were told 3 months ago not to use the balconies but no repairs had been carried out?[/p][/quote]Had they not placed Acrow props as a temp measure. Lord Spring
  • Score: 6

10:01am Fri 18 Apr 14

BIGTONE says...

Is that the block Diana.Dors used to own or was it the next block?
I thought it was Berkley.
Is that the block Diana.Dors used to own or was it the next block? I thought it was Berkley. BIGTONE
  • Score: 4

10:02am Fri 18 Apr 14

retry69 says...

Lord Spring wrote:
High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
On the ******* floor?
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo[/p][/quote]On the ******* floor? retry69
  • Score: 11

10:06am Fri 18 Apr 14

boyerboy says...

Lord Spring wrote:
High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
Romeo ? more like Eileen Dover...........
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo[/p][/quote]Romeo ? more like Eileen Dover........... boyerboy
  • Score: 10

10:37am Fri 18 Apr 14

retry69 says...

boyerboy wrote:
Lord Spring wrote:
High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
Romeo ? more like Eileen Dover...........
These type of comments are what makes this an award winning paper second to none :)
[quote][p][bold]boyerboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo[/p][/quote]Romeo ? more like Eileen Dover...........[/p][/quote]These type of comments are what makes this an award winning paper second to none :) retry69
  • Score: 15

10:52am Fri 18 Apr 14

John T says...

retry69 wrote:
boyerboy wrote:
Lord Spring wrote:
High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
Romeo ? more like Eileen Dover...........
These type of comments are what makes this an award winning paper second to none :)
If the residents of this block of flats were warned months ago about the danger of these balconies, I imagine that Dorset Fire and Rescue may discover Eileen Dover's partner, I P Daly, still cowering in their toilet on the second floor!!
[quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]boyerboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo[/p][/quote]Romeo ? more like Eileen Dover...........[/p][/quote]These type of comments are what makes this an award winning paper second to none :)[/p][/quote]If the residents of this block of flats were warned months ago about the danger of these balconies, I imagine that Dorset Fire and Rescue may discover Eileen Dover's partner, I P Daly, still cowering in their toilet on the second floor!! John T
  • Score: 16

12:10pm Fri 18 Apr 14

60plus says...

Our these flats privately owned or council I know they have a managermet company but councils palm out work to other company's .
Our these flats privately owned or council I know they have a managermet company but councils palm out work to other company's . 60plus
  • Score: 3

12:25pm Fri 18 Apr 14

elite50 says...

If this was the U. S. all the residents would be ordering their flats in Sandbanks.
They will probably have to move to West Howe.
If this was the U. S. all the residents would be ordering their flats in Sandbanks. They will probably have to move to West Howe. elite50
  • Score: 3

1:11pm Fri 18 Apr 14

rozmister says...

60plus wrote:
Our these flats privately owned or council I know they have a managermet company but councils palm out work to other company's .
To my knowledge all council blocks are managed by the council or a housing association. Outsourcing management of blocks to private companies would mean paying a lot of money for a task they already have the resources for.
[quote][p][bold]60plus[/bold] wrote: Our these flats privately owned or council I know they have a managermet company but councils palm out work to other company's .[/p][/quote]To my knowledge all council blocks are managed by the council or a housing association. Outsourcing management of blocks to private companies would mean paying a lot of money for a task they already have the resources for. rozmister
  • Score: 1

2:42pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Sunseeker-1978 says...

The flats ate either privately rented or owned!!
The flats ate either privately rented or owned!! Sunseeker-1978
  • Score: 6

3:55pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Bmth Nick says...

You're all missing the point. WHAT ABOUT THE POOR RESIDENTS who have been turfed out of their possibly unsafe flats with no help or contact from the management company. Where are WHITELOCK now? Why haven't they made any effort whatsoever to contact residents to offer alternative accommodation. It's EASTER WEEKEND and about 12 of the flats have been deemed unsafe - what are we supposed to do????
You're all missing the point. WHAT ABOUT THE POOR RESIDENTS who have been turfed out of their possibly unsafe flats with no help or contact from the management company. Where are WHITELOCK now? Why haven't they made any effort whatsoever to contact residents to offer alternative accommodation. It's EASTER WEEKEND and about 12 of the flats have been deemed unsafe - what are we supposed to do???? Bmth Nick
  • Score: 14

5:26pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Tango Charlie says...

Same contcrete as Castlepiont car park then.
Same contcrete as Castlepiont car park then. Tango Charlie
  • Score: 3

6:08pm Fri 18 Apr 14

retry69 says...

Tango Charlie wrote:
Same contcrete as Castlepiont car park then.
There is nothing wrong with Crumblepoint :)
[quote][p][bold]Tango Charlie[/bold] wrote: Same contcrete as Castlepiont car park then.[/p][/quote]There is nothing wrong with Crumblepoint :) retry69
  • Score: 4

7:29pm Fri 18 Apr 14

misplacedspaniard says...

It's disgusting. One of my friends owns one of these flats and they are not cheap.

Rip off.
It's disgusting. One of my friends owns one of these flats and they are not cheap. Rip off. misplacedspaniard
  • Score: 1

7:38pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Lord Spring says...

retry69 wrote:
Tango Charlie wrote:
Same contcrete as Castlepiont car park then.
There is nothing wrong with Crumblepoint :)
That's a spalling
[quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tango Charlie[/bold] wrote: Same contcrete as Castlepiont car park then.[/p][/quote]There is nothing wrong with Crumblepoint :)[/p][/quote]That's a spalling Lord Spring
  • Score: 1

6:30pm Sat 19 Apr 14

guisselle says...

Lord Spring wrote:
High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
It was the nightingale and not the Lark that sang on yonder tree!
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo[/p][/quote]It was the nightingale and not the Lark that sang on yonder tree! guisselle
  • Score: 1

6:32pm Sat 19 Apr 14

guisselle says...

Lord Spring wrote:
High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
It was the nightingale and not the Lark that sang on yonder tree!
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo[/p][/quote]It was the nightingale and not the Lark that sang on yonder tree! guisselle
  • Score: 1

12:21pm Sun 20 Apr 14

spooki says...

retry69 wrote:
Lord Spring wrote:
High Treason wrote:
retry69 wrote:
What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?
She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo
On the ******* floor?
Nice one!
[quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]retry69[/bold] wrote: What sort of flats are these then when the occupant of the ground floor flat has to shout down to the fire crew to see if it was safe to come down?[/p][/quote]She asked if it was safe to come out, not down.[/p][/quote]O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo[/p][/quote]On the ******* floor?[/p][/quote]Nice one! spooki
  • Score: 1

12:23pm Sun 20 Apr 14

spooki says...

Why don't the people who own properties actually look after them and not just leave them to rot and fall apart, then moan that it costs too much?
Those poor folk had warning three months ago and now have, I assume, a ruddy great hole in their wall.
Why don't the people who own properties actually look after them and not just leave them to rot and fall apart, then moan that it costs too much? Those poor folk had warning three months ago and now have, I assume, a ruddy great hole in their wall. spooki
  • Score: 1

9:09am Mon 21 Apr 14

Scouser4ever says...

I have worked in the building & property maintenance industries in bournemouth for the past 10 years, 99% of agents who manage these blocks are corrupt, for you to even get on there books to price work they expect a back hander! there are three or four really good manageing agents in this town everyone knows who they are I just wish the owners of these blocks would take greater care at there A G M when selecting an agent, I will give an example I priced a block of ten garages approx 180sqm to re felt in high performance polyester felt, my quote £4500, the block did not even see my quote, the job was carried out for £8950 I hVe documented evidence of this, it happens every single day it is outrageous, these agents have a lot to answer to, you wonder how they can afford to drive around in porches Aston martins etc.
I have worked in the building & property maintenance industries in bournemouth for the past 10 years, 99% of agents who manage these blocks are corrupt, for you to even get on there books to price work they expect a back hander! there are three or four really good manageing agents in this town everyone knows who they are I just wish the owners of these blocks would take greater care at there A G M when selecting an agent, I will give an example I priced a block of ten garages approx 180sqm to re felt in high performance polyester felt, my quote £4500, the block did not even see my quote, the job was carried out for £8950 I hVe documented evidence of this, it happens every single day it is outrageous, these agents have a lot to answer to, you wonder how they can afford to drive around in porches Aston martins etc. Scouser4ever
  • Score: 3

11:43pm Mon 12 May 14

Della99 says...

It gets worse. The company is intending to charge the owners of the flats for all the repair work as the building insurance company say it is fair wear and tear!! Looking at previous blogs (the first one) the construction of the balconies was not done correctly and this was bound to happen..I am informed JM Harding are a private family company who not only own the building but built it and Whitelocks who are the managing agents is also one of their companies.
Is there anybody out there who is clever enough to start a facebook page or similar to get all the owners and residents together to fight this greed and wrong doing.
It gets worse. The company is intending to charge the owners of the flats for all the repair work as the building insurance company say it is fair wear and tear!! Looking at previous blogs (the first one) the construction of the balconies was not done correctly and this was bound to happen..I am informed JM Harding are a private family company who not only own the building but built it and Whitelocks who are the managing agents is also one of their companies. Is there anybody out there who is clever enough to start a facebook page or similar to get all the owners and residents together to fight this greed and wrong doing. Della99
  • Score: 0

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