A YOUNG family has been left homeless after three balconies collapsed at a block of flats in Poole.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the balconies crashed to the ground at Berkley Manor, Poole Road, in the early hours of Thursday, April 17.

The property management firm JM Harding and Partners has confirmed that, as well as the four sets of tenants affected in the initial collapse, the occupants of four further flats have been advised not to return to their properties.

Penny Alderton, who owns a property on the first floor of the block, is one of those and has been forced to move her partner and two young children, aged three and one, into a single room at her mother’s bungalow.

She said she had been told by contractors that it was not safe to re-enter her property because the balconies above were at a high risk of collapse.

“We have been strongly advised not to go back inside the property,” she added. “I’m definitely not going to risk our lives for the flat.”

Ms Alderton said she paid a £400 annual maintenance charge and that she was angry about the lack of support her family had received.

“We were told they do not have a duty of care to provide us with alternative accommodation,” she added.

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said she and her baby daughter had also been left homeless and money was becoming tight. “It has been so stressful and we haven’t been helped by anyone,” she said.

Residents said they first noticed the balconies sagging in October 2011. In January this year metal fencing was erected below each block as a precautionary measure and a warning notice displayed in the lobby.

On Thursday a crane was used to help support one of the balconies and all of the other balconies are now supported by metal props.

Geoff Maxted, of JM Harding and Partners, said one balcony was scheduled to be demolished today.