New Forest District Council defends renovations at Robertshaw House in Lyndhurst as tenant blasts ‘unsafe’ work
A DISABLED Lyndhurst man says he’s being “treated like dirt” having to live in a council house likened to a building site as it undergoes renovations.
Peter Sapsard (66) lives in a flat at Robertshaw House, which is currently in the middle of a revamp involving ceiling and floors being ripped out and exposed wires left.
Despite repeated pleas to New Forest District Council to be moved, he has had to stay put.
Recently hospitalised with a fractured spine, Peter has lived at Robertshaw House for the past 10 years, despite initially being place there temporarily.
He said he was concerned the lack of proper flooring could cause him to fall.
“The flooring is very slippery and I don’t want to be back in hospital or in a wheelchair,” he said.
“I am Lyndhurst born and bred and I feel I am being treated like dirt.
“The councillors wouldn’t like to live like this, but they don’t seem to care.”
Aside from the renovations, Peter says his bedsit flat is no longer suitable for his disability as he cannot get in or out of the bath due to his spine injury.
He says he has made a series of phone calls to NFDC and applied to move to 19 other council properties, but has been turned down for them all.
Along with other residents, he was temporarily moved out of the property while asbestos was removed.
Peter went to stay in a Lymington care home more suited to his needs, and said he would like to have stayed there until all the renovation work was complete.
Peter’s friend Lindsay Vigor told the A&T: “He is living in a building site – it’s a real health and safety issue, not to mention an absolute mess.
“I wouldn’t be happy there myself.”
A spokesperson for NFDC told the A&T it had set aside “a significant investment of £1.2m” for improvement work at Robertshaw House, which it said will provide “significant improvements” to residents once complete.
The spokesperson added: “Due to asbestos containing materials it was necessary to complete the work in two phases; the first being asbestos removal works which required the temporary decant of residents.
“The existing lighting cabling, although still in situ, is dead and tied back, and is perfectly safe.
“Temporary lighting has been installed throughout the common areas.”
It said engagement sessions were held onsite with residents, with briefings given to each on their return.
The spokesperson added: “The second phase of work is in progress and a tenant engagement session was held on 6th September to inform residents of next steps and to provide reassurance that the building remains safe for their use throughout the remaining works.
“The onsite contractor is available to residents each morning to discuss any concerns [and] our officers are very happy to visit the tenant and discuss their specific needs.”