Stockwell residents 'robbed of daylight' as scaffolding leaves them living in the dark

  • Tap above to watch video report by Helen Keenan

Frustrated residents have been "living in the dark" for three years after scaffolding put up to repair the building blocked light from their homes.

People living at The Oak Square complex near Stockwell described "problems after problems" and the depressing prospect of three more years of construction work.

"Lots of people have given their properties back to the housing association and in some respects we are really lucky being leaseholders," said resident Joanna Everest.

"Over the other side [of the development] where they cannot give their properties back and have to wait to be rehoused - they are really struggling because there just aren't properties around for people to move into, so are just stuck here in limbo waiting for the work to finish.

"It was put up originally around the base of the building in 2017 but full height since 2020 and the project is due to finish in 2026.

"So I won't have any daylight until then!

"There were major problems with the construction of the building and there were problems after problems.

"In the summer it is so hot here, there is a ventilation system that also does not work," she added.

Building work is still years away from being completed Credit: ITV News

Local Labour MP Florence Eshalomi told ITV News London said it was "shocking" that residents had to live in a "constant building site".

She said: "I did a walkabout with residents earlier this year and going into some of the flats you can see the state of the disrepair.

"You can see the leaks and the damp and the fact that for a number of these residents when they look out their window all they see is scaffolding - since 2020.

"This is unacceptable. I have raised this issue with Notting Hill Genesis and to be fair the replies I've received are unsatisfactory. The replies were not addressing the key issues and if anything they were a bit dismissive.

"These are residents who are continuing to pay their rent and mortgage and service charges.

"This is unfair."

The local MP has got involved to help raise concerns of residents Credit: ITV News

Notting Hill Genesis said residents’ safety has never been at risk but recognised they put up with disruption for too long adding: "Oak Square is a development with 271 homes built by Presentation Housing in 2010.

"Regrettably it has been subject to a substantial building defect remedial programme, including replacement cladding, which has been highly disruptive to residents.

"This programme, which has been underway since 2020, has taken longer than expected and is expected to be complete in 2026.

"We have offered substantial compensation to all residents and have provided on average £13,000 to each resident that has accepted.

"In March 2023 we also introduced an offer to buy back all leaseholders’ homes at a value which assumes all remediation works are complete.

"So far 23 leaseholders have sold back to Notting Hill Genesis under this scheme and the offer remains open until the end of the financial year.

"We are also offering priority transfers to those in social rent housing, subject to the availability of a suitable alternative home.

"For those who remain, our extensive programme to bring Oak Square up to a high standard that both we and our residents are happy with will continue.

"We thank them for their patience and understanding over such a long period, and remain absolutely committed to resolving the problems with the buildings and ensuring residents have a high-quality homes once the works are finished."

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