Anchorfield residents return to flats as council finds damage caused by building design

Residents started to move back in on Friday after a 'very difficult and stressful three weeks'.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Residents forced to evacuate a tenement flat in Newhaven amid serious safety concerns have started returning to their homes.

An evacuation of a block at Anchorfield in response last month saw those living in its 12 flats given just one hour to collect their things and leave. It came after surveys confirmed a hairline crack compromised the buildings 'structural integrity'.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The council told the Evening News tenants began returning to their homes on Friday, 16 February after a "very difficult and stressful three weeks."

Following calls for an investigation into the cause of the damage the council faced claims of "secrecy" over whether tram works caused structural damage.

But an independent investigation by structural engineers has found the damage is related to the original design of the building and issues with the weight bearing bay windows, dating back to the 1800s. A full report on the damage and causes will be shared with all residents, the council said.


The scale of repairs are needed or when these will be carried out have not been confirmed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Council leader Cammy Day said the report puts paid to claims by local councillor Adam Nols-McVey that the damage could have been caused by tram works.

Cammy Day, Council Leader, said: “After what has clearly been a very difficult and stressful three weeks for the Anchorfield residents, I’m pleased to see most have been able to start moving back in today, and the others able to retrieve their belongings.

“I want to pay tribute to our teams who acted so swiftly and decisively to make the tenement secure and for continuing to do all they can to support all residents affected. I’d also like to pass on our thanks to property owners for their cooperation throughout this challenging time.

“Our priority was quite rightly to keep the local community safe and, thanks to this work, we’ve stabilised the building, provided recommendations for its permanent repair and re-opened Lindsay Road and the surrounding area to traffic and pedestrians.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Our teams have issued a daily update to all residents on the progress of works, which I know has been much appreciated.

“It’s clear from the independent structural engineers investigations that the issues with the bay windows are long-standing and, unfortunately, the result of the original design dating back to the late 1800s. I fully appreciate this will come as little consolation to the residents are hope they are able to find a collective way forward as soon as possible.

“I hope also that this brings to an end the unhelpful speculation around the cause, with some people apparently intent on furthering their own political ambitions at the expense of the very residents they’re meant to serve.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.