All tenants living in Ross House should be moved out immediately as it is a “tinderbox”, according to a number of sources across mutliple organisations. This is no exaggeration.
On Monday morning all tenants in Ross House should turn up at Folkestone & Hythe District Council Civic Centre demanding new accommodation as their current accommodation is not fit for purpose, as it is unsafe and does not comply with the fire regulations, nor has it since they moved in.
Tenants could claim they are homeless as the Council owned building is NOT compliant with the law, as such it is not fit for human habitation.
All district Cllrs, not just the ward Cllrs, Tim Prater and Gary Fuller, must support these tenants as they have a RIGHT to live in safe and secure accommodation, as do all tenants in Council owned and EKH managed property, in all four districts.
In April 2018 the Council purchased Ross House from Mr Oliver Davis company for £1.8 million.
What due diligence did the Council undertake on the building prior to purchase?
Who signed the building off saying it complied with the building regs, especially Approved Document Part B Volume 2 which deals with fire safety for council housing?
Who did the Fire Risk Assessment after East Kent Housing (EKH) took over the management of the property? And why didn’t EKH act on it?
As a result of these failings, numerous investigations into the problems at Ross House will have to be paid for and whatever they discover – and they will discover countless issues – this will cost further money to put right.
To be fair to EKH, it inherited a rather big problem from the Council, but EKH didn’t act on the fire risk assessment, meaning both parties share the responsibility for the failings which has left Ross House as a tinderbox for nineteen months.
As we understand their is an ongoing investigation into Ross House by Kent Fire & Rescue, who have visited the premises.
And what of Oliver Davis (pictured) the man who owns Mulberry Tree Holdings Ltd via Oliver Davis Homes Ltd, what is he going to do about his company’s “total shit” and “sub standard conversion”, of Ross House? The company – his company did after all sell the council a pig in a poke.
Mr Davis has been contacted for a comment but a reply there has come none.
Now to add insult to injury, Mr Davis company, Mullberry Tree Holding Ltd wish to redevelop the former redundant car park site right next door to Ross House to provide nine new commercial units under planning application Y19/0978/FH (highlighted in purple below).
Mulberry Homes Holding Ltd redeveloped Ross House which is a “tinderbox” and now want to redevelop car park into 9 commercial units – Y19/0978/FH
Now as far as we understand, there is nothing which can prevent Folkestone & Hythe District Council Planning Committee from granting permission, as grounds for selling the Council a £1.8 million pound “tinderbox” is NOT a material planning consideration.
Five tenants who live in Ross House have made objections to Mulberry Tree’s application. These legitimate grounds put forward by tenants could be possible grounds for rejection. Perhaps Cllr Prater or Cllr Fuller might speak up on behalf of the tenants when it comes to planning, as we hope they will call it in pdq.
Tenant safety is paramount. We have had one death in an EKH managed property, and some near misses. Tenants at Ross House must be moved with immediate effect. All Cllrs from all parties in our Council, plus the Council itself must do all they can to assist the tenants. Nobody deserves to live in a “tinderbox” because our Council and EKH have failed in their legal duties to protect them.
If you are a tenant, you might be eligible to make a claim for disrepair against Folkestone & Hythe District Council. Legal aid for disrepair cases is limited to only those cases relating to the removal or reduction of a serious risk of harm to the health or safety of the occupiers. To bring a claim for disrepair using representation paid for, under legal aid, you will need to establish that there is a serious risk of harm to you or your family caused by the disrepair. We believe tenants at Ross House may not have a problem proving this is the case, meaning legal may be available to tenants. If you are a Ross House tenant or a tenant in an EKH managed property we would advise you seek help and assistance regarding your rights. We advise you contact one of the following:
If you are a leaseholder living in a Council home, managed by EKH, tomorrow (9th Nov 2019) at the Grand Folkestone, The Leasehold Roadshow is in town and tickets are free. It is a unique opportunity for Council leaseholders and all leaseholders to meet experts in the leasehold sector free of charge and learn all about leasehold property ownership. In attendance will be Louie Burn a well known leasehold campaigner and local gent, along with Leasehold Valuers and Leasehold Law.
Clink link here ⇒⇒ Free Ticket
The Shepwayvox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent