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CityWest Homes: Tollgate House residents in Maida Vale concerned over 'shoddy finish' to refurb

PUBLISHED: 15:15 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:29 24 January 2019

Tollgate House, Tollgate Gardens in Maida Vale. Picture: Polly Hancock

Tollgate House, Tollgate Gardens in Maida Vale. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Disgruntled tenants and leaseholders in north Maida Vale’s Tollgate Gardens are despairing at the state of their homes and surroundings as a high-profile regeneration project continues.

Celia Osei points to cracks which appeared around her door at Tollgate House. Picture: Polly HancockCelia Osei points to cracks which appeared around her door at Tollgate House. Picture: Polly Hancock

CityWest Homes, the arms-length social housing operator that has run Westminster’s housing operation for almost two decades, is to be wound down this year.

But people living in Tollgate Gardens are aghast at the standard of work, and have drawn attention to the “shoddy finish”. Leaseholders are concerned issues including lighting cables hanging loose outside, damaged piping and stained floors will need to be rectified, and this could mean a significant service charges hike.

Although Westminster Council and CityWest have had an independent surveyor verify the site is safe, they have agreed to commision a second to reassure the community, who have continued to express concerns about the altered structure of Tollgate House itself.

Kim David has lived there for 55 years. She told the Wood&Vale: “We’ve been living on a building site for over two years, and there’s the potential for this to go on for more.”

Residents are concerned about the standard of finish - including to pipes - on the recent improvement works at Maida Vale's Tollgate House. Picture: Polly HancockResidents are concerned about the standard of finish - including to pipes - on the recent improvement works at Maida Vale's Tollgate House. Picture: Polly Hancock

Kim pointed out some of her neighbours even had cracks running through their flats. She added: “It’s just the standard of the work – it’s so poor.”

Local councillor Geoff Barraclough remarked he was concerned by the “finish” of the work undertaken. He pointed out the wires, and also criticised an eco-roof that has been installed.

He told the Wood&Vale: “Failing CityWest Homes has botched the works at Tollgate Gardens. Even the green roof is brown. And leaseholders are rightly worried that they will be left picking up the tab when all the mistakes need making good.

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Westminster’s regeneration lead, said: “While refurbishment works are carried out at Tollgate House, independent advice confirms it remains safe for our residents. Once finished there will be more than 195 new homes, which we will make sure are finished to a high standard.”

She added no decision had yet been made on future service charges for people living in the estate, and explained charges had been waived throughout the three-year refurb.

Cllr Barraclough added he wanted Cllr Robathan to visit the site and meet residents before signing the works off.

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