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Deal talks stop Chalcots work

Council insist pause was planned on evacuation estate

06 March, 2020 — By Tom Foot

MAJOR works at the Chalcots estate have come to a standstill while the council and its lead contractor haggle over the deal.

Tenants living in the five tower blocks in Adelaide Road – the scene of the fire safety evacuation crisis in 2017 – say the estate has felt like a “ghost town” since work stopped last week.

The council and Wates say contract negotiations and the “pause” to works were planned, but residents told the New Journal this was “absolute rubbish”.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “If you knocked on every door in the Chalcots, no one would tell you they had heard of it being done in two parts.”

Tenants are having new window designs imposed on them which will see walls, radiators and pipes moved in every home.

Housing chief Cllr Meric Apak said: “Unfortunately the contract negotiation is taking longer than we expected, and until we finalise the contract there will be a short pause in the preparation work. This is not unusual in a complex project like this one, but it is important to note that we don’t anticipate this will cause any discernible delay. Wates will remain on-site to keep the scaffolding safe and secure and we are ensuring that all residents are kept up to date.”

A Wates Living Space statement said: “Having completed the main preparation works at the Chalcots estate, there will be a brief pause in our activity on-site while the team maintains a presence at Chalcots to keep the scaffolding safe and secure. Our focus is now on finalising the contract to take forward the next phase of work.”

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