Shoddy building work uncovered at Telford cemetery lodge
Parish councillors have offered to move the residents of a cemetery lodge out if it becomes dangerous after renovation work uncovered two examples of shoddy historic building work.
Work began on the Victorian-built house at Hadley Cemetery last month, and Hadley and Leegomery Parish Council clerk Jonathan Brumwell told members a window without a lintel and a mould-ridden bathroom wall had already been uncovered.
Parish councillors confirmed that £11,500 contingency funding, approved in the autumn, could include emergency short-term accommodation for the site’s manager and his family.
Mr Brumwell said: “The work started and we have uncovered a few issues. To start off with, they are working in the bathroom – because that really is urgent – and they removed the original wall covering to find that a previous refit had put a gob of plaster which they then put some plasterboard over.”
The brick behind this facade is now mouldy, he said.
He added that one large window had previously been divided into two, but that it would be turned back into a single window.
“One of the problems is that, when the windows were put in, they never put a lintel in,” Mr Brumwell said.
“Our issue is there is a danger we will uncover other things, which may be major problems with the building.”
A report before councillors reminded them that, in September, they allocated £11,500 from their contingency fund for the work at Cemetery Lodge, on Hadley Park Road, with additional costs to come out of the general fund.
Mr Brumwell asked councillors to confirm that the contingency funding “includes making arrangements, perhaps at very short notice, to accommodate the cemetery manager and his family, if we discover the building is unsafe because, for example, one of the walls is in imminent danger of collapsing”. Members agreed that it did.
Councillor Pat Smart said they had a duty to look after the manager, and Councillor John Snell said they “shouldn’t penny-pinch”, suggesting hotel or bed-and-breakfast accommodation.
Mr Brumwell said the cemetery manager would, if necessary, prefer to be put up in a static caravan on the cemetery grounds, as leaving the site unattended might leave it vulnerable to vandalism.