ANGRY residents of flood-ravaged Newburn were last night told part of the estate could face demolition.
The future of one of the blocks at Spencer Court remained uncertain this week after the area was flooded for the third time this year.
Tuesday’s extreme rainfall ripped away part of the foundations of one of the blocks leaving it exposed and in danger of collapsing into an underground culvert which first flooded back in May. At a public meeting last night, residents were informed that engineers had been in to assess the latest damage and it was confirmed that “plans were being put in place” for the demolition of the block.
The revelation caused an outcry from concerned families who not only live in Spencer Court but the surrounding streets that have been evacuated as a result of the floods.
Leanne and Graham Bullock, who live on Mill Vale, adjacent to Spencer Court flats, said the meeting left them with more questions than answers.
Mr Bullock, a 27-year-old dry liner, said: “The meeting was terrible. Nothing has been answered, no progress whatsoever and they avoided every question that they could. My wife is 35 weeks pregnant and we just don’t know what is happening. She doesn’t need this stress, we just need answers.”
The couple were evacuated earlier this week when the floods hit forcing Leanne to stay with her mum while Graham has been put up in a hotel temporarily.
Mrs Bullock, 23, added: “I don’t know if we are ever going to be able to live there again. It’s very stressful and upsetting.”
The main hall at Walbottle Campus was packed out with residents who wanted a chance to talk to the landowners involved – Northumberland Estates and Dunelm Homes – but anger flared at various points throughout as many felt they weren’t being listened to.
Mill Vale homeowner Elaine Boynton, who was evacuated but has since been allowed back into her home, said: “Nothing has been achieved and still nobody is admitting liability.
“We bought houses in good faith, Dunelm has taken our money and we just feel really unsafe.
“We just want to know things like where we are going to go if it happens again because a lot of people have young kids. It’s been poor delivery from both Dunelm and the Duke of Northumberland Estates.”
She added: “They should be trying to make provisions so we feel safe in our own homes.
“In the 21st Century you should be entitled to that but I don’t feel safe one bit.”
No timescale was given on when demolition of the block may take place.
A spokesperson for Northumberland Estates said: “We are working closely with the police and other services at the present time, in particular to enable residents to access to their homes, where and when it is deemed safe.”