William Eichler 05 June 2018

Two Portsmouth tower blocks not ‘as strong as expected’

Two Portsmouth tower blocks not ‘as strong as expected’ image

The council have told residents in two Portsmouth tower blocks they will have to move out due to safety concerns.

Structural reports have shown the concrete used in the original construction of Leamington House and Horatia House is ‘not as strong as expected’.

While there is no immediate danger, residents in the 272 flats will have to move out temporarily while Portsmouth City Council, which owns the buildings, carries out work to strengthen them.

The only serious risk associated with the buildings would be from a gas explosion, the council said.

However, there is no mains gas supply within either building and items such as gas heaters are not allowed in the blocks.

Last year the two buildings had cladding removed from them following fire safety concerns in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

This new issue is unrelated to fire safety but was found while the council was examining options to replace the cladding.

‘As part of work to look at options to replace cladding, the council commissioned an assessment of the structural safety of the blocks,’ said the council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

‘The report on the buildings has concluded that the quality of the original 1960s construction isn't as strong as expected.

‘It is very important that people realise there is no immediate danger from day-to-day living in the buildings but, as our number one priority is resident safety, we are starting the process of moving people to new homes.’

Photo: © Peter Facey

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