Swarm of flies plagues council tenant after rubbish builds up at Sheffield tower block

An infestation of flies which are going into people’s mouths, noses and eyes are making life a misery for a Sheffield tenant.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:45 pm

The woman, who did not want to be named, has lived in the Callow Place tower block at Gleadless for 27 years but is so distressed, she wants to move.

Sheffield Council closed the rubbish chute during the pandemic as workmen couldn’t enter to clean it and instead placed skips outside for tenants to throw their bin bags in.

But some tenants have continued to use the chutes and blocked them while the skips are often overflowing and have been used for fly tipping.

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The tenant says it’s sparked an infestation of scuttle flies which are attracted to festering rubbish.

She said: “These blocks were built in the early 1960s and the chutes are not fit for purpose, people have far more rubbish nowadays and it increased in lockdown when people were having deliveries arriving in boxes and packaging.

“The majority of people use the skips, which are disgusting, but some are still using the chutes which are now blocked.

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“We have a terrible problem with flies because of the rubbish building up and they go into our eyes and mouth, you blow your nose and there’s a fly in the tissue.

“It makes me want to cry and the mental health impact has been tremendous. They need to come up with a solution but I’ve complained so many times it’s like banging my head against a brick wall.”

Councillors Alexi Dimond and Paul Turpin have been lobbying the council to sort out the problem and environmental health has visited.

Last year Ayca Taylor complained about an infestation at Robertshaw block in Netherthorpe and said there were hundreds of flies in her eighth-floor flat every day, believed to be coming from blocked chutes.

Coun Paul Wood, Executive member for housing, said the council planned to close chutes as part of a wider programme of improvement work in high rise blocks.

“We are aware of two properties at Callow Place and Robertshaw that have contacted housing services on several occasions about fly issues and we have recently heard of a second complaint within Robertshaw about a chute blockage.

“At Callow, we have been told of four other addresses that are experiencing fly issues but the type, cause and extent of the problem is yet to be assessed.

“These addresses have been referred to environmental services for inspection and appropriate treatment.

“The process for the closure is still to be finalised and will be done in consultation with residents but the initial programme is scheduled to start in January 2022 and will include four high rise blocks, the three Deer Park towers in Stannington and Hanover tower at Exeter Drive.

“The remaining 20 tower blocks will be part of a future programme delivered over the next two to five years.

“We are working through an appropriate structure survey and whether there is any general advice we can give to residents.”