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Vicars Cross pensioners left behind bars

Published date: 24 June 2014 |
Published by: Steve Creswell
Read more articles by Steve Creswell


 

SCAFFOLDING has turned a luxury retirement complex in Chester into a “prison”, residents claim.

Disgruntled pensioners living at Arkle Court on Tarvin Road, Vicars Cross, were told roof repairs would be brief – but two months later the building remains surrounded by metal.

And to make matters worse, they say bosses at Peverel Retirement have told them they will have to foot the £39,000 bill themselves.

Ged Walsh, who lives at the complex, told the Leader: “In early May scaffolding was erected which engulfed the complete building and we were informed this was for general works and repairs to the roof, which is only 14 years old and opened in 2000.

“To our astonishment and disbelief these repairs would cost £38,844 and be charged to the residents. Today, more than seven weeks later, we find ourselves still imprisoned and work is at a standstill.

“We’re imprisoned pensioners.”

The 67-year-old said managers had held a meeting with residents and explained any structural repairs would be charged to residents.

“This I question strongly as these faults and problems have been ongoing since 2000 and have cost residents a lot of money,” said Mr Walsh, a retired BT engineer.

A spokesman for Peverel Retirement apologised to the pensioners for any inconvenience caused by the “ongoing issues” with the roof.

The cost would be largely covered by contingency funds, “minimising” any extra financial burden on residents, she said.

The current work was a direct result of a full structural survey, requested by residents in 2012.

“Copies of the survey were given to residents to review and a full consultation process was carried out before work was undertaken this year,” she said.

“As the managing agent, it is our job to oversee maintenance at the development and we met residents on June 10, after the scaffolding went up, to explain further issues which were identified by the structural engineer after the initial repair work began.

“We will keep residents updated on costs when the final independent report from the structural engineer comes through and have agreed with them that the development’s contingency funds, which are in place to cover major repair projects, will be used to pay for the work, minimising additional expenses for those who live in the development.”

l Peverel Retirement operates 1,500 retirement developments nationwide and stresses it is not a care home provider. The majority of the properties within its sites are privately owned.

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