Homeowners living in the so-called ‘Penarth Renewal Area’ of St Augustine’s Ward, Penarth – who been worried about having to pay for further extensive repairs to their houses – have now been reassured they won’t have to pay the bills.
More than 400 Victorian houses in the ‘Renewal Area’ underwent an extensive Vale Council renovation programme between 2000 and 2010 after 76% of the dwellings in the area (see map below) had been declared “unfit”.
Most of the costs of bringing the homes up to modern standards were met by the Vale Council under a £15,000,000 EU-funded scheme. Householders were means-tested and some were asked to contribute towards the costs whereas others, who had insufficient resources, had the work carried out free of charge.
However, it turned out that not all the homes were properly repaired and a number of householders later complained about defects in the standard of the work carried out on their properties.
In June 2015 the Vale Council had said that owing to “the ongoing commitments to make good the poor workmanship of Phase 5b of the Penarth Renewal Area at Queens Road, it is estimated that a budget of £100,000 will be needed to complete these works. Options are currently being explored to recover this money” [i.e. from the contractors]
Local residents have now again questioned the Vale Council about the slow progress of the “repairs to the repairs” and – in particular whether householders are being expected to meet some of the costs involved in what some describe as this “continual” rectification work.
In last week’s full council meeting Cllr Leader Neil Moore (Labour Cadoc Ward, Barry and Leader of the Council ) said “Defects previously identified in historical renewal works within the Penarth renewal Area continue to be addressed by the council. The council has investigated further works at this location and has worked diligently to any on-going concerns of the residents.
Cllr Moore said ” I know it’s been long and tedious and arduous but we are still working on it. I am pleased to be able to confirm that the final phase of the repair works is currently under way and progressing very well.
The council had also been asked by residents whether it will recover the cost of the latest repairs from the contractors who carried out the original – faulty – work. Cllr Moore says the council is “Currently reviewing all of its options for the recovery of costs – but the matter is not yet finalised – so at this stage no further details can be provided – and that is to ensure that any future process is not prejudiced.”
Cllr Moore emphasised that “Residents are NOT being asked to make any additional contributions to the cost of these repairs”. He pointed out that residents were previously means-tested and “many have not had to contribute at all to the cost of the extensive improvement works to their homes”.
In conclusion Cllr Moore announced “Work is continuing, we’re managing it , we’re making sure it’s being done properly . We are looking for cost recovery. That’s all I can say can say at this stage”
Local residents have also grilled the Vale Council about roof replacements in the renewal scheme. One resident has asked why ” no building regulations approvals for roof replacements were made in the Penarth Renewal Area? ” .
Cllr Bronwyn Brooks the ‘cabinet’ member in charge of housing was asked “how and why this oversight will be rectified to obtain the correct regulations for over 400 homes included in the scheme?”
Cllr Brooks replied that “almost all roof repairs at that time did not require building regulations approval”. She said that “a small number of roofs” in the Penarth Renewal area had been “identified as defective” . All the roofing work had been guaranteed and any further defects would be “dealt with accordingly”.