You’ll recall that we have recently sent out a Section 20 consultation notice concerning the replacement of the link-bridges and the electricity mains on the Grantully Road side of the estate. You’ll also recall that we’ve been talking about this project for some while but we wanted to take our time and make sure we did the right thing. The good news is that now that the Section 20 consultation is completed, we will shortly be ready to put the project to tender and would hope to be able to begin in the Spring.
Much of the delay has been due to protracted negotiations with UK Power Networks for the renewal of 5 incoming electricity main cables; one for each block on Grantully, which run beneath the link bridges and are supported from them. Our appointed services engineers now have an agreed acceptable technical solution which has allowed our surveyors and engineers to finalise the technical design and specification of the works.
The link bridges terminate at the communal front doors of blocks six to ten and themselves are in a poor state. The masonry is crumbling and the ironwork is badly rusted in many places. For safety, we have had to support the weight of the bridges with metal acrow props. The bridges also carry the mains electricity cables into each of the blocks and these installations are also in many cases beyond end of life. Worse, leaks in the vault works cause water to cascade down the cables in poor weather.
The project will proceed on a sequential basis and access in and out of the blocks will be maintained throughout the works. The bridges will be demolished one by one replaced in the short term with temporary structures. New electricity and (in one case) gas mains will be run into the blocks and the link bridges and supporting vaults will be built anew. We’ll also be resurfacing the asphalted access areas that run under the bridges which have also deteriorated resulting in increased risk of damp in the lower ground floor flats.
Once we’ve received the tenders, we’ll be back in touch with the final budget but we’re confident that we can fully fund the project from existing reserves.