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£7m flats revamp needs leaseholder funds
Leaseholders of Poole flats due to undergo a £7million revamp are unhappy about having to pay what could amount to tens of thousands of pounds in contributions.
Of Sterte Court’s 134 flats spread over two tower blocks and two low rise blocks, 23 are leasehold with 10 of those owner-occupiers and the remainder sub-let.
Borough of Poole has approved a £7.4milion programme of badly needed improvements to the flats which are on a prominent position on a gateway into the town.
New cladding will provide much improved weather proofing and energy insulation, along with a new roof, windows, heating, ventilation, balconies and ground floor lobbies.
Everyone has been consulted on the plans – however, while the majority is being funded from Poole Housing Partnership tenants rents, leaseholders face estimated bills of between £19,950 and £36,065.
Kevin McCormick of Bournemouth has two flats at Sterte Court which he lets out.
“The £7million facelift of these 1960s tower blocks is a waste of money and a missed opportunity to provide more and better housing for the people of Poole,” he said.
“After the revamp the buildings will still be 1960s tower blocks and the £7milion is unlikely to change people’s lives.”
He said: “This is expensive and is not going to make a great difference.”
Another leaseholder said: “I agree that they do need sprucing up and am willing to pay my fair share of this but I do not need new windows or want a bigger balcony or any of the other ‘improvements’ that they are planning.”
The leaseholder said the bill could be £35,000 to £40,0000.
“This is causing much distress to many as we have been told it will only put £15,000 on the value of our property.”
Joe Logan, chief executive of Poole Housing Partnership, made it clear that the sums were generous estimates and the amounts leaseholders would have to pay would probably be lower.
“It is most definitely worth the investment,” he said.
“If we had done what some people had advised us to do and demolished the buildings and rebuilt the flats it would be three times as high as the cost of the refurbishment.”
He added: “Leaseholders shouldn’t have any further significant costs again to pay over the next 30 years.”