“We’re going to cause havoc,” said the residents of Cardinal Lofts after an “emotional” meeting with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

During the meeting that took place this morning, March 17, the residents were represented by Alex Dickin, Claire Hamblion and Viv Sharma.

Mr Dickin said: “It was an extremely sad and depressing meeting, to be completely honest.

Ipswich Star: Alex Dickin lives in Cardinal Lofts and is the founder of Ipswich Cladiators, Charlotte BondAlex Dickin lives in Cardinal Lofts and is the founder of Ipswich Cladiators, Charlotte Bond (Image: Charlotte Bond)

“Everyone who was present there spoke in such a down tone, and the seriousness of the situation at Cardinal Lofts is indescribable.

“We are suffering from anxiety and struggling to sleep at night.

“It’s not just about how we've been kicked out of our homes, how we've been let down.

“Fire safety defects were known about in late 2020. They've had plenty of opportunity to remediate and make our homes safe.”

Ipswich Star: Cardinal Lofts building, NewsquestCardinal Lofts building, Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

Ms Hamblion added: “This became fairly clear after speaking with Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

“Up until now, I've been holding my ground because we don't have any answers about what's going to happen at Cardinal Lofts in the future and whether the building will be fixed and how long it's going to take.

Ipswich Star: Cardinal Lofts leaseholder Claire Hamblion, NewsquestCardinal Lofts leaseholder Claire Hamblion, Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

“But today I had someone from the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service beg me to leave my home because it's so unsafe.

“It's been a very, very tough meeting to go through today to hear how dangerous that building is and the fact that our freeholder has let us live in that for the last two years and done absolutely nothing.”

The residents said that, in their opinion, the evacuation could have been avoided if the freeholder Grey GR cooperated with them and fixed the known issues.

READ MORE: Reaction to fire service issuing second prohibition notice

They added the meeting made it clear that the fire service was not provided with actual information about the building’s state.

Mr Dickin said: “We demanded the meeting with Grey GR and Railpen and their deadline is today. We haven’t heard back from them."

He added that residents were "going to cause havoc" until they were heard. 

Ipswich Star: Toby Gray from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.Toby Gray from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. (Image: SFRS)

Toby Gray, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s area manager for protection and prevention, said: “It is hard to begin to imagine what residents of Cardinal Lofts are going through, but we are devastated at their plight and will continue to support them wherever we can.

“Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service was pleased to have the meeting with some residents earlier today, enabling them to receive the clarity they deserve and assurances on why we had no option but to issue a further Prohibition Notice for all of Cardinal Lofts.

“I am hopeful that everyone now realises that this decision wasn’t taken lightly and was needed to protect not just residents but the waking watch and our firefighters, who could be seriously injured from being placed in an unnecessarily dangerous situation

“We will continue to engage with all involved and hope to work together to find a safe resolution and a forward plan for remediation works.”