Work at Berkley Manor, Poole Road, brings headaches for residents

OUT: Penny Alderton, with her children Georgia, three, and Madison, one, outside the block of flats

OUT: Penny Alderton, with her children Georgia, three, and Madison, one, outside the block of flats

First published in News by

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.

Comments (11)

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7:38am Mon 28 Apr 14

Lord Spring says...

If it need barriers underneath then the managing agent should have installed Acrow Props in the first place It does not take brains to think that one out.
If it need barriers underneath then the managing agent should have installed Acrow Props in the first place It does not take brains to think that one out. Lord Spring
  • Score: 10

9:16am Mon 28 Apr 14

chris100 says...

Lord Spring wrote:
If it need barriers underneath then the managing agent should have installed Acrow Props in the first place It does not take brains to think that one out.
Managing agent & brains don't go together
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: If it need barriers underneath then the managing agent should have installed Acrow Props in the first place It does not take brains to think that one out.[/p][/quote]Managing agent & brains don't go together chris100
  • Score: 6

11:43am Mon 28 Apr 14

speedy231278 says...

Surely if the properties are unsafe for habitation, the person/company they are rented from must be obliged to provide alternative accommodation?
Surely if the properties are unsafe for habitation, the person/company they are rented from must be obliged to provide alternative accommodation? speedy231278
  • Score: 8

12:31pm Mon 28 Apr 14

stevobath says...

Lord Spring wrote:
If it need barriers underneath then the managing agent should have installed Acrow Props in the first place It does not take brains to think that one out.
That might be too expensive. It's only peoples lives, so it's better to save a few quid!
[quote][p][bold]Lord Spring[/bold] wrote: If it need barriers underneath then the managing agent should have installed Acrow Props in the first place It does not take brains to think that one out.[/p][/quote]That might be too expensive. It's only peoples lives, so it's better to save a few quid! stevobath
  • Score: 2

2:47pm Mon 28 Apr 14

casual_observer says...

One wonders if the already unsound balconies were made worse by the works being undertaken to the rear of the property which can be clearly seen at the Lindsay Road junction with Frizzell Roundabout....
One wonders if the already unsound balconies were made worse by the works being undertaken to the rear of the property which can be clearly seen at the Lindsay Road junction with Frizzell Roundabout.... casual_observer
  • Score: 2

5:22pm Mon 28 Apr 14

joeinpoole says...

The 'annual maintenance charge' for a block of flats usually includes buildings insurance. With the building currently uninhabitable it might be that the lady could have temporary accommodation paid for by the insurance company.
The 'annual maintenance charge' for a block of flats usually includes buildings insurance. With the building currently uninhabitable it might be that the lady could have temporary accommodation paid for by the insurance company. joeinpoole
  • Score: 5

6:45pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Yankee1 says...

Property insurance should cover reasonable housing expenses if tenants have to vacate for safety reasons. It should be included in the maintenance fee.

I bet there is no insurance.
Property insurance should cover reasonable housing expenses if tenants have to vacate for safety reasons. It should be included in the maintenance fee. I bet there is no insurance. Yankee1
  • Score: 1

8:54pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

Berkley Manor, Poole Road.

It sounds very posh from a distance. Not so much when close up !
Berkley Manor, Poole Road. It sounds very posh from a distance. Not so much when close up ! Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 3

3:07pm Tue 29 Apr 14

speedy231278 says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
Berkley Manor, Poole Road.

It sounds very posh from a distance. Not so much when close up !
By the look of the whole situation, I guess it is pronounced BERK rather than BARK.... :s
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: Berkley Manor, Poole Road. It sounds very posh from a distance. Not so much when close up ![/p][/quote]By the look of the whole situation, I guess it is pronounced BERK rather than BARK.... :s speedy231278
  • Score: 0

11:39pm 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 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 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

8:47am Sun 18 May 14

chelsea53 says...

Buildings insurance should provide alternative accommodation and so should contents insurance.
Buildings insurance should provide alternative accommodation and so should contents insurance. chelsea53
  • Score: 0

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