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Anger over lack of action from under-fire housing company

PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 August 2019

Neave Close, where residents have complained of poor heating and broken renewable solar panels Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Neave Close, where residents have complained of poor heating and broken renewable solar panels Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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Fresh criticisms have been launched against an under-fire housing company as older residents claim their heating systems are unreliable and green energy systems have failed.

Flagship Homes came under pressure last week after it was revealed the bodies of two elderly residents had laid undiscovered in their bungalows at a sheltered housing complex in Woodbridge for weeks.

An independent inquiry could be held to investigate the causes behind the two deaths which occurred at Mussidan Place within a matter of months of one another.

MORE: Inquiry into deaths at Mussidan Place

Now the residents in Neave Close, Walpole and another complex in neighbouring Cookley have hit out at Flagship, which runs properties across East Anglia, for their lack of action.

Vice-chairman of Walpole Parish Council, Anne Thomas, says residents in Neave Close have complained to her that their heating is unreliable and new renewable technology is faulty.

Ms Thomas said of the Walpole property: "Tenants tell me that none of these systems worked - the solar panels weren't wired correctly, the two rainwater harvesting systems have never worked.

"To cap it all, the surface water drains were never installed, which is why the cul-de-sac turns into a sheet of ice in the winter. It's like walking on glass."

The councillor has met with Flagship on two occasions, and she says the company insists improvements have been made to the homes.

Charlie Conley, head of asset investment at Flagship Homes, said: "We met with our customers last year regarding concerns they had around the installation and maintenance of services to their homes.

"Following this new renewable heating systems were installed.

"All properties now benefit from efficient, environmentally friendly heating systems with low running costs.

"We are aware of some ongoing concerns that our customers have raised and are currently liaising with them to provide a solution."

The deaths at Mussidan Place were highlighted last week and it was revealed the bodies were only found after neighbours reported a foul smell coming from the homes.

It was also revealed that a warden had previously been based on site but this service was removed in April 2018.

Residents have also criticised Suffolk County Council for cutting the sheltered housing grant which funded warden visits to their homes, saying the bodies would have been found sooner if the support had not been withdrawn.

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