Living in the Shadows: Oak Square’s Ongoing Cladding Woes
Residents of the Oak Square complex in London, near Stockwell, share their ordeal of living amidst ongoing cladding removal.
The issues surfaced in 2014 when a tile fell, exposing gaps in the building. Fast forward to 2023, and the complex remains ensconced in scaffolding, causing disruptions and safety concerns.
Delays and Discontent: A Long Road to Cladding Remediation
Originally estimated for completion by August 2023, the cladding removal at Oak Square has faced delays, leaving residents in a state of limbo.
The handover of building contracts from Equans back to the original builders, Higgins, has added to the complexity of the situation.
Residents’ Voices: From Sleepless Nights to Broken Lifts
Joanna Everest, a resident since 2017, highlights the challenges faced by residents. From disrupted sleep due to early morning building noise to broken lifts and insufficient heating, the living conditions have been far from ideal.
Attempts to sell properties have been thwarted due to the absence of a fire safety certificate.
Trapped in the Dark: Impact on Community and Well-being
Residents express the impact on the sense of community and well-being. Scaffolding blocking sunlight, disrupted communal areas, and the absence of fire safety certificates contribute to a sense of being trapped.
The disruption has affected not only individual residents but also the cohesion of the community.
Complications in Selling: Fire Safety Certificate Hurdles
Joanna Everest’s attempt to sell her property hits a roadblock due to the lack of a fire safety certificate. The uncertainty surrounding the completion of the building project leaves residents in a state of limbo, unable to move forward with their plans.
Apologies and Compensation: Notting Hill Genesis Responds
Notting Hill Genesis, the housing association overseeing the project, acknowledges the inconvenience and distress caused to residents. A compensation scheme, including an offer to buy back leaseholders’ homes, is in place.
The building defect remedial program is expected to conclude in 2026, and the association apologizes for the prolonged disruption.
Empathy from Afar: Support for Oak Square Residents
Neighbors and observers express empathy for Oak Square residents, acknowledging the toll the situation takes on their lives and mental well-being.
The external impact on the community becomes evident as those living nearby share their understanding of the challenges faced by Oak Square residents.
Looking Ahead: Residents’ Hopes for Resolution
Amid the disruptions and challenges, residents express a collective desire for resolution. Whether it’s the completion of the cladding removal, restoration of communal spaces, or obtaining fire safety certificates, the hope is to reclaim a sense of normalcy and peaceful enjoyment of their homes at Oak Square.