Seventy-two Telford flats face demolition over structural problems and damp

Structural problems and widespread damp could lead to the demolition of 72 flats in Telford.

Wrekin Housing Trust is considering knocking down eight nine-flat buildings in Leonard Close, Donnington, and replacing them with 43 two and three-bedroom homes.

Martin James, a member of the trust’s development team, told Donnington and Muxton Parish Council the current blocks, which were built in the 1960s, have ongoing structural issues which would cost £400,000 to fix and they are exploring completely redeveloping the site.

Councillors expressed concerns that the preliminary plans, provided by Mr James, did not include enough parking spaces, so cars would spill over on to the streets.

The flats in Leonard Close

Mr James said: “There are eight blocks that we are considering demolishing.

“We have had ongoing issues with demand here, but the main reason is issues with structural movements and widespread damp, in particular in the ground-floor flats.”

He said an engineer’s survey had revealed the foundations were defective and not protecting the homes from groundwater.

“We’ve been quoted a minimum of £50,000 per block to rectify that,” he said.

“We would need to completely refurbish the ground floors.

“As a result of discussions with leaseholders, we felt we needed to look at alternatives.”

He said tenants have moved out and the trust has helped them find alternative accommodation, leaving 60 out of the 72 flats empty. The proposed redevelopment consists of 30 two-bedroom houses and 13 with three bedrooms.

Structural issues

Councillor Mark Stokes asked: “If they were built incorrectly, what about the rest of the houses in the vicinity? Were they built by the same people, for example?”

Mr James said maintenance supervisors had not reported any similar problems at other blocks.

He said: “You would start to know, because you would have structural issues – trouble opening doors, for example.”

Chairman Philip Loughlin thanked Mr James for attending, but told him there was “a collective view that parking is a concern”.

The plans Mr James provided include 84 parking spaces, just under two per house.

The Leonard Close blocks are arranged in two groups of four either side of main street, which runs from St Winfred’s Drive to Donnington Wood Church of England Junior School.

The Wrekin Housing Trust has yet to submit a planning application for the redevelopment.

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