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Promised heating charge reductions for Orchard Estate residents coming in after works misery

New Eco pods worth £11 million are being installed on roofs of tower blocks on Orchard Estate, Clayhil. 

Orchard Estate. New Eco pods worth £11 million are being installed on roofs of tower blocks on Orchard Estate, Clayhil. Orchard Estate.

Friday, February 14, 2014
7:00 AM

Orchard Estate residents will be pleased to know they will soon be getting the promised reduction in heating charges after months of misery from upgrade work.

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Those living in the estate, off Broadmead Road in Woodford Green, complained of noise, mess and disturbance as engineers installed a new central heating system last year.

The £11million project was blighted by delays and setbacks, including £11,600 of builders’ equipment being stolen.

Speaking at a meeting of Redbridge Council’s cabinet on Tuesday, Cllr Michelle Dunn (Wanstead, Cons) heating and hot water charges will be reduced by between 24 and 44 per cent from April.

The cabinet member for housing called it “fantastic news” for the 500 affected residents.

Cllr Ian Bond (Roding, Lib Dem), cabinet member for finance, said: “It is a ground-breaking scheme and will be worth the dirt and disruption when it was installed.”

Council officers estimate homes will now have to pay £8.42 for central heating and hot water a week but the amount could change as analysis continues.

The work started in September 2012 and was due to take four months but lasted almost a year.

Problems with a water main left people without drinking water and sanitation in May.

Denice Spratt, 63, she had been unable to flush her toilet and resorted to using her cat’s drinking water and water from a vase to do so.

She considered moving out and paying to stay in a hotel.

The council restricted the hours workmen could drill after complaints that it was too loud for people to listen to the radio or watch television.

Developers Carillion Energy Services said the work to install “eco pods”, double glazing and cladding to increase efficiency would cut 177,000 of carbon dioxide emissions.

Heating and hot water charges for council tenants not living on the Orchard Estate will be increased by an average of 7pc.

Rents are also being going up by 4pc, making the average weekly rent in Redbridge £103, and service charges are going up fractionally by 2p a week.

Charges for hiring garages have been fixed.

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