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Highbury estate residents hold protest over long-term damp issues

We’ve had enough, says mum with bedroom ‘that’s a water feature when it rains’

16 February, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Estate residents are calling on the Town Hall to tackle structural issues causing dampness

RESIDENTS on a Highbury estate plagued with long-term dampness problems have told the council: Enough is enough.

The Town Hall was presented with a 100-strong petition in December, but people on the Park View estate say the response they received last month failed to tackle the root of the dampness problem.

Concerned tenants and leaseholders organised a protest on the 1950s estate – where the council is planning to build 40 homes.

Sarah Brakes, 43, said that, after seven years, her 14-year-old son can no longer sleep in his bedroom, and instead spends his nights in the living room.

“I’m bleaching the walls and it returns within two days, every time,” said Miss Brakes, who is diagnosed with arthritis and asthma. “I’ve just had enough.”

Angie Slater, 49, has what she calls a “water feature” running down her bedroom wall when it rains. “I’ve had numerous people from the council coming out and looking at it,” said Miss Slater, who has lived in the home with her twins since October 2016.

“We just want them to see it as a long-term issue rather than coming and just covering up the mess,” she said.

Damp inside one of the estate’s homes

Miranda Perfitt, 75, has been conducting surveys around the estate, cataloguing pictures of the damp. “It’s usually on the outside wall,” she said. “We are kicking up a fuss to fix the damp on our estate as well as building the new homes.”

Resident June Moggriete said the council response to the petition was to offer residents a number to call to deal with the problem.

Caroline Russell, Green Party ward councillor for Highbury East and the council’s sole opposition member, said she had now arranged for a council damp surveyor to assess the building.

“The residents are right to be fed up,” she said. “For years, the council has been implementing quick-fix repairs that don’t solve the underlying source of the damp. It must now deal with the structural issues actually causing it.

“The council response has been disappointing so far. It’s great that they’re building some new homes at Park View, but they are running very late with the regular repairs to existing homes on the estate.”

Labour housing chief Councillor Diarmaid Ward said: “We want everyone in Islington to have a decent place to live and we take issues of damp very seriously.

“In response to estate residents’ concerns, we’re carrying out surveys of drainage that residents have raised as a problem, and will carry out any remedial work needed.

“If any resident on the estate is experiencing damp or problems with water in their home, we ask them to report it to us. We will investigate and sort it out.”

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