Gas at Peckham estate switched off over safety concerns | London

Residents of tower blocks on the Ledbury Housing Estate in Peckham have been informed their gas supplies will be turned off over fears about safety.

Residents had called Southwark Council because they were concerned about large cracks in the walls. Engineers from Arup were dispatched to investigate, but during their visit, they discovered a separate historic problem with the gas supply.

Southwark Council said:
“Records showed that a gas supply was installed when the blocks were built around 1968/1970, soon after a gas explosion at the similarly constructed Ronan Point block in Newham caused a partial collapse of that block.

“Records showed that the design of the Ledbury blocks and other blocks across the country had been strengthened following Ronan Point, to make them safe to carry a gas supply. However, we wanted to delve deeper for more assurance, and instructed Arup to include this issue as part of their investigation.

“Earlier today we heard from Arup, who regrettably informed us, based on their structural investigations, that the information we have regarding the history of the blocks may not be correct, and we have therefore taken the decision to turn off the gas supply to all Ledbury tower blocks immediately”

224 homes have been affected. Residents have been told they will be provided with hot plates for cooking, but they may need to use showers at local leisure centres while the gas is switched off. The council says it’s not yet sure how long it will be until the supply is restored.

“We are doing all we can to provide residents with alternatives while the gas is turned off, and are working up a plan to permanently replace the gas with electric ovens, boilers etc as part of the wider works, should that be necessary. We have also written to the Department of Communities and Local Government to inform them of this issue, as it may well have implications for other blocks around the country that were constructed in this way.”

– Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Southwark Council

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