Dagenham crumbling 'Lego' blocks

THE CRUMBLING Lego tower blocks along the A13 which make up Goresbrook Village cannot be demolished or redeveloped as the council does not have the cash. Families living in Bassett, Dunmow and Ingrave Houses want the flats to be torn down so they can be

THE CRUMBLING "Lego" tower blocks along the A13 which make up Goresbrook Village cannot be demolished or redeveloped as the council does not have the cash.

Families living in Bassett, Dunmow and Ingrave Houses want the flats to be torn down so they can be moved to houses that meet the decent homes standard.

A petition was presented to the Assembly last week by Candy Samuels, 50, from Ingrave House, who described Goresbrook Village as the "forgotten estate".

She said: "On the council's website they say that a kitchen should be no more than 20 years old to be at the decent homes standard.


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"But in the Lego blocks, as they are called, we have kitchen never renovated since the 70s.

"The blocks look like a prison; they are mouldy, damp and riddled with asbestos.

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"The double glazing was never finished throughout all the flats and the noise and pollution from the A13 in unbelievable."

As part of a Channel 4 documentary, Liberal Democrat MP for Winchester, Mark Oaten, went to live in Goresbrook Village.

He said: "In Winchester the worst we have to deal with is mad cow disease. Here in Barking and Dagenham you have mad building disease."

This was echoed by executive member for housing, Cllr Phil Waker, who was stumped by the design flaws of the three massive blocks when he visited there.

"The top floor flats do not actually have a lift going to them," he said. "All the others do, but not the top floor.

"It just makes you wonder who on earth designed these buildings."

However, although the council agreed with the 120 petitioners, officers admitted that there was simply no money in the pot to finance major works such as demolition or redevelopment.

Council leader, Liam Smith, added: "The problem is that if we decant all the residents, where do we put them?

"We saw this problem first hand with the Lintons. I would like nothing better than to pull Goresbrook Village down, I hate tower blocks.

"But where will we house the people. Other options need to be explored."

A scheme was mentioned where the estate may be part demolished and part refurbished.

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