Residents of a Hilsea tower block received an unwelcome surprise this evening when their landlord declared their homes unsafe…after being reassured earlier in the day that they were.
The six storey Southdown View Apartments on the site of the former Hilsea Bus Depot is owned by VIVID Homes, which was formed out of a merger between First Wessex and Sentinel Housing Associations.
Earlier today a representative of Vivid visited residents personally to assure them of the block’s safety.
A spokesman for Vivid said, “Fire safety has always and continues to be at the top of our agenda as part of ensuring the safety of everyone living in our homes and our staff.
“We have robust controls and regular checks in place, and work closely with the fire service to effectively manage fire safety. We meet all current fire safety requirements across all our stock.”
However, this situation appears to have changed abruptly during the course of the day with residents receiving a letter from the landlord at teatime telling them their apartments are now not considered safe after all.
A worried resident, who asked not to be named, said: “We had a knock at the door earlier from a bloke from “Vivid”, who came into our home and pretty much told us the cladding was the very minimum which was certified by the fire service, but that they would upgrade it yet again ‘just to re-assure the residents it is 100% safe’, and that we’d get a letter at about 5pm explaining it all.
“I pretty much just went along with it, however I asked him surely he doesn’t want to be spending money which doesn’t need to be spent? He just said the same again, ‘We just want to go that extra step to assure residents it’s safe to live here’.
“Fast forward an hour to 5pm and we get this letter from Vivid, who came to the door and handed it to us. Take a look at it, what does it say? ‘We do not believe the cladding on your block of apartments is safe’, being the reason it’s being changed!”
UK New sin Pictures attempted to contact Vivid for an explanation for this sudden and abrupt volte-face but has received no response.
Work to redevelop the 59 flats, also containing a medical facility and pharmacy, at Southdown View was completed by Hopkins Mechanical & Engineering in early 2015.