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Le Marais flats residents to be moved due to refurbishment

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HUNDREDS of residents at Le Marais – some of whom have lived in the high-rise flats since they opened in the 1970s – are to be rehoused as part of a major redevelopment scheme.

Picture: PETER MOURANT. (25378061)

Residents from the first block due for refurbishment are likely to be rehoused at nearby Samarès and Les Squez Phase 4 developments. Other tenants will move to newly refurbished flats on the Le Marais site.

Work is due to begin next summer and continue until 2024. Tenants will start to be moved as early as October and the first block is due to be empty by June next year.

The flats, which were externally refurbished in 2000, are to receive an internal overhaul including new kitchens, bathrooms, heating systems, plumbing and wiring as part of a multi-million-pound project.

Sprinkler systems are also due to be fitted. Andium chose, voluntarily, to introduce sprinklers in all its high-rise buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

Dominque Caunce, head of communications and specialised services for Andium, said the original plan had been to remove people from their homes temporarily before letting them back in but, following consultation with residents, this was deemed too disruptive.

She said: ‘These works are significant and extremely disruptive. We had initially considered a plan to carry out the works four floors at a time and move tenants up or down floors on a temporary basis, but we no longer think this is fair or appropriate given the significant disruption the work will cause, and tenants told us this when we last visited them. Instead, we will now empty the blocks, one block at a time.

‘Tenants from the first block will be found homes elsewhere and we have the benefit of new supply becoming available at Samarès and Le Squez Phase 4, so they will be able to remain in the area should they wish to do so. The later blocks will move in turn to the newly refurbished towers. So these are now permanent moves rather a temporary move.’

All tenants, Andium say, have been written to and staff are due to visit the blocks on Wednesday and will be on site from 11am to 7pm. Anyone unable to meet with Andium staff on Wednesday can arrange a different time.

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Mrs Caunce added: ‘We do acknowledge that a number of residents at Le Marais are very elderly, and some have lived there since they were built. These works are essential, so we have no choice but to move them.

‘We do, though, have a well-established decant consultation process and work closely with tenants on an individual basis to understand their needs and aspirations when they must move to facilitate such major works.

‘We will provide additional support to those that need it and they will all receive financial assistance with the move.’

There are a total of 224 flats at Le Marais – 56 in each block. Blocks are made up of 14 one-bedroom flats, 14 bedsits and 28 two-bedroom flats.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
author

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