Reporter: ROBBIE GILL
Date online: 24 December 2013
FUMING residents say they are having to find thousands of pounds after Christmas following a move by First Choice Homes to upgrade boilers without sufficient consultation.
The changes will see the existing five commercial boilers, which currently serve the whole of the Durden Mews development in Shaw, removed and replaced by around 100 individual units for each property.
Dave Walker, a resident for five years, first heard about the plans last week when a letter dropped on his doormat detailing the £4,000 required to carry out the work to his home.
The money included over £1,000 for the removal of asbestos - which didn’t show up on the council or independent surveys carried out by Mr Walker.
He said: “They only made changes to the boilers five years ago and when we asked about gas boilers at the time they said we couldn’t have them.
“I’m absolutely fuming over it. They just want everyone on individual heating and are forcing us to go to the big energy companies. It’s not necessary and there has been no proper consultation. They have said if we want to supply our own boiler we can but we’ll have to pay £76 for them to take it out.
“I work in waste and I know that those boilers are worth at least £200 for scrap. Where am I supposed to find that kind of money at Christmas?”
Dave Woods, homes and investment director, said he welcomed correspondence from residents and said their was no immediate obligation for residents to pay up.
He added: “The letters outline our intention to carry out communal improvement works, as per the leaseholder agreement, and ask for written observations.
“We can confirm that the boilers, systems and pipework at Durden Mews have not been replaced in the last five years and are in excess of 20 years old. We would urge all leaseholders to reply in writing to the notices as outlined in the letters.”
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