Published November 5th, 2020
Residents of Lesnewth in St Blazey will soon be able to return to their homes following the completion of remedial repair works.
Ocean Housing, which manages 460 houses in the area, was made aware of a problem at one of its homes in May 2019, when a resident reported an area of subsidence in their back garden caused by historic mining activity.
Surveys revealed that 13 properties were affected and tenants had to be re-homed while repairs were carried out.
Managing director of Ocean Housing, Frances Turner, said: “The safety of our tenants is always our top priority. We reacted quickly when the issue was identified, and we were able to find emergency accommodation for everyone affected.
“Many of the tenants have settled well in their new homes, with only a few residents wanting to move back in when the works have been completed. We are in the process of contacting everyone to confirm this, before we begin the process of finding new tenants.”
The homes which required work included three bungalows on Lamellyn Road, and a row of ten bungalows at Lesnewth. They were built in the 1970s to house workers from the tin and copper mining industry in St Blazey, and Ocean took on the management of the properties around 2000.
The works are being completed by Truro-based RHOS Construction, which has a specialist team who are experienced in groundwork and mine capping.
Frances continued: “We explored the option of demolishing the bungalows to build new homes, however decided this was not the best way forward as they are very popular homes. Back in 2016 when one of the bungalows became available, we had 72 bids on just that one property.
“Cornwall has a shortage of accommodation suitable for older people, particularly in the St Austell area, meaning this type of property is in high demand. We have carried out many additional tests to ensure the stability of the homes, and a structural engineer has been working alongside the contractors to ensure that the homes will be safe for residents to live in when the works are completed.”
Remedial works to one of the detached bungalows on Lamellyn Road were completed during March, before work was paused due to lockdown. The remaining two semi-detached bungalows on the same road were then finished in early August, and contractors have now begun work on the final row of ten homes in Lesnewth, which should be finished by Christmas.
Residents Mr and Mrs Adams returned to their bungalow this summer, and were warmly welcomed back by the community. They said: “It feels wonderful to be back in our home. We had so much help and support from our neighbours when we moved back in, receiving lots of cards and baked goods. People even helped us to reinstate our lovely garden which is so important to us.
“We really appreciate the help given by Ocean in settling us back in, and making us feel safe again in our own home.”
Ocean Housing has estimated that cosmetic work to bring the final properties up to letting standard will take around six weeks. Tenants moving in will have the chance to choose some of their own interiors, and will have access to an Ocean liaison officer who will help ensure they settle into the community as smoothly as possible.
For more information about Ocean Housing visit: oceanhousing.com.