Scaffolding victory

SCAFFOLDING costing taxpayers an estimated £1,500 a week for more than two years despite work stopping 12 months ago, has been removed. But the metal framework at the rear of a block of flats in Shephall Way, Stevenage, could be erected again as early as

SCAFFOLDING costing taxpayers an estimated £1,500 a week for more than two years despite work stopping 12 months ago, has been removed.

But the metal framework at the rear of a block of flats in Shephall Way, Stevenage, could be erected again as early as April.

Alan Dennis, of Foxfield, lives in the shadow of the block and contacted The Comet in November when noise from the scaffolding got too much for him to bear.

He said the scaffolding, erected so the stairs and lift serving the flats could be closed off during refurbishment and repairs to the block, was enclosed in plastic sheeting which made a horrendous noise whenever it was windy, causing him sleepless nights.

Mr Dennis also expressed concern that the hiring of the scaffolding from a private contractor was costing taxpayers.

After The Comet contacted Stevenage Borough Council, the council agreed to remove the scaffolding.

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Mr Dennis said: "The scaffolding has been removed but there is a good possibility it will be going up again in April when they start work on the flats again.

"If they have to put it up to do the repairs then I don't object to that.

"It was just a waste of money and a nuisance when they weren't doing any work on it.

"I know someone in the building trade who says the scaffolding must have cost at least £1,500 a week."

He added: "I haven't been contacted by the council with an apology."

A spokesman for Stevenage Homes Ltd said: "Unfortunately we are not allowed to give out the cost of the scaffolding, as this is commercially sensitive information, which forms part of a contract.

"We plan further work to the block later this year when we will invite contractors to tender for the work and that is why the costs of the previous contract are still commercially sensitive.

"We will keep residents fully informed about the progress of the refurbishment and maintenance programme.