Sheffield residents to be evacuated from unsafe block of flats for second time
Sheffield residents are to be evacuated from an ‘unsafe’ block of flats in the city for the second time in just over a month.
People living in The North Bank building on the Wicker Riverside were first evacuated on December 11, after the block of flats failed a number of fire safety tests.
All residents and leaseholders will now have to evacuate the residential block for a second time, tomorrow afternoon (January 18) after management company Love Your Block Limited could not raise enough money to continue paying for a Waking Watch – who patrols the block and raises the alarm in the event of a fire.
The management company said South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are ‘aware of the situation’ and will issue another Emergency Prohibition Notice tomorrow.
In a letter to residents, Managing Director of Love Your Block Paul McCormack said: “I am sorry to have to give this news.
"Despite our best efforts to raise funds to pay for the Waking Watch, there remains a substantial shortfall in cash needed to pay for this service that has already been provided.
"The company providing the Waking Watch have offered to maintain service until noon on Monday after which they will withdraw their wardens.
"The fire service are aware of the situation and they will issue an Emergency Prohibition Notice on the whole of Wicker Riverside immediately thereafter.
"We continue to pursue the service charge debtors in the hope of obtaining sufficient funds, but the payments from private leaseholders have reduced to a trickle so unless Nine Developments Ltd pay their debt, it is inevitable that the building will close on Monday.
"We wanted to give you advance warning so that you can plan to vacate the building on Monday afternoon.
"This will affect all flats, even those on the upper floors that already have an alarm fitted.
"To give a glimmer of hope, I am pleased to share that the fire alarm quote is now available.
"Funding for the alarm will come from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
"We hope to have the alarm in place by mid-February which should then allow the building to be reoccupied.
"If we receive payment of sufficient service charges before noon on Monday, we will let you know immediately.”