£120k spent refurbishing mental health home being shut down by council

Abury House. Photo: Ron Jeffries

Abury House. Photo: Ron Jeffries - Credit: Archant

A supported accommodation complex due to be shut down by Redbridge Council this year has undergone refurbishment work costing over £120,000, it has emerged.

Abury House, in Aldborough Road North, which has nine purpose-built supported flats, is due to close this summer.

A freedom of information request revealed that the council more than £29,000 was spent replacing the roof in 2006.

A further £12,000 was spent in 2002 installing capsule kitchens in each bedsit and bathrooms were refurbished in 1998 at a price of £6,150.

The largest cost, of £64,594, was for maintenance works and health and safety improvements between 1998 and this year.

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Ron Jeffries, who said he had met many Abury House residents in his years living in nearby Spearpoint Gardens, called it a “valuable community asset”.

He added: “I find it tragic that, having spent a large sum of taxpayers money, the building is no longer to be used for its present purpose and will in all probability be sold off.”

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A council spokesman said options for the building are “currently under discussion”.

She added: “The council has a duty to ensure that their property assets are kept at a reasonable standard.

“Money has had to be spent on Abury House as it is a large older property and as such requires a significant amount of on-going maintenance to keep it up to standard.

“This is not seen as an unreasonable amount to spend on a property that has had a significant number of people moving in and out over the years which adds to the wear and tear of the property.”

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