RESIDENTS in a flat in Poole say they have been waiting for 15 MONTHS for cladding to be replaced on their building. 

Stonewater, which is the housing association for Harbour Court in West Quay Road, said the project has been delayed after a contractor went into administration and work should come to an end by spring. 

Martyn Aisbitt, who lives on the third floor, said: “We were told that they would be looking to remove the cladding and that it was just exterior work and that it would take eight weeks to complete. 

Bournemouth Echo: The fire alarm was tapped upThe fire alarm was tapped up (Image: Martyn Aisbitt)

“That was not the case as 15 months onwards it is still a building site. All our balconies have been ripped out.” 

“I’m worried about staying in the flat,” he added.

He said: “Stonewater keep saying they need to do better but the contractor they have got is bad. 

“There is a constant, constant failing. I wish I stayed in my old flat.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Damage has been done to the buildingDamage has been done to the building (Image: Martyn Aisbitt)

Leon Storer, Stonewater’s assistant director of homes, said: “We understand the frustration felt by our customers” during the £6m+ work and that the project is six months behind schedule due to the original contractor going into administration in the summer."

He added there is a revised completion date for spring 2023 and customers will be kept updated. 

“As part of the project, we have taken the opportunity to replace the original cladding, which was not the same type as that at Grenfell and did not present an additional fire risk that warranted immediate removal,” Leon added. 

“We’ve also introduced additional, enhanced fire safety measures across the scheme, including new exterior materials and internal fire stopping improvements. 

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“We appreciate that a complex refurb of this scale was always going to be disruptive for customers.  

“Everyone was offered the option of a temporary move while work is being carried out - which only one customer chose to accept.  

“We have also applied credit to customer’s rent accounts, reduced the service charges and made ‘goodwill’ payments of £500 to thank customers for their patience. 

“Our executive director of customer experience has personally visited and talked with many customers to listen to any concerns, and we have a dedicated customer liaison partner who they can contact at any time. 

“We’re happy to report that the new external render installation is already substantially underway so residents should have their balconies back for spring, and we remain committed to getting the rest of the works completed as quickly as possible.”