Window repair all for Sylvan Hall council estate in Brighton

A COUNCILLOR has called for windows on a council estate to be repaired before someone is killed.

Sue Shanks spoke out after hearing about their dangerous condition at a housing management panel.

Sylvan Hall Residents’ Association chairman Barry Hughes told Brighton and Hove City Council’s central area housing panel that windows had fallen out – and a resident found one in a flower bed.

People living on the Sylvan Hall council estate, in Bromley Road, Brighton, had waited years to have their windows fixed, he said. There had been surveys and consultations.

READ MORE: Council accused of failing to replace windows that are ‘faulty and beyond repair’

Mr Hughes asked council officials for an urgent response because the situation was dangerous.

He said: “One of our leaseholders has just had a window fall out as he is in the process of refurbishing his flat. What’s there to do?

“The windows at Sylvan Hall are past their sell-by date and are positively dangerous.

“We’ve had one leaseholder with children who, alarmed by finding a window in her flowerbed, is concerned what might happen to her kids.

“They are dangerous. It’s not good enough to hear works will be commencing next year. It’s not acceptable.”

There have been calls to repair windows on the Sylvan Hall estate

Forty per cent of the members of the residents’ association were leaseholders, Mr Hughes said, and they were concerned that they could end up paying twice to replace windows beyond repair.

Some felt obliged to replace the unsafe windows themselves but could end up paying again once the council finally deals with the blocks themselves.

Councilor Sue Shanks, who represents St Peter’s and North Laine ward, said she last had an update on windows after a detailed survey in 2020.

She said: “We just need to repair these windows. It’s not a new thing. This has been going on for a long time.

“It’s about fixing falling windows before someone is killed. It’s a health and safety issue.”

The Argus: Councilor Sue Shanks fears someone could be killedCouncilor Sue Shanks fears someone could be killed

One of the council’s senior housing officials, Ododo Dafe, said when people were told the work would start next year, it was likely to mean from April which was the first month of the coming 2022-23 financial year.

She said: “I know this is a grave concern for residents, not only because of the safety aspects but also because of the heating issues as well. There are a range of issues as to why this is important to us.”

She said concerns about window repairs were city-wide because there were similar issues on both the Craven Vale and Bristol estates in east Brighton, requiring managers to look again at the budgets.

They would have to prioritize and possibly allocate more money to deal with window repairs and replacements before reporting back to residents.

If windows were beyond repair, unsafe and in need of replacing, she said something would have to be done.

Green councilor Siriol Hugh-Jones, who chaired the meeting, said there was £20 million in the budget for the coming financial year to improve housing quality.

This would include replacing windows, addressing health and safety concerns, repairing lifts and replacing kitchens and bathrooms.