Refurbishments leave residents cold

David Percy suffers from emphysema and has had to tape his windows shut and cover them with boarding to prevent draughts from getting through. INNT 09-428-RM

David Percy suffers from emphysema and has had to tape his windows shut and cover them with boarding to prevent draughts from getting through. INNT 09-428-RM

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RATHCOOLE residents have hit out after draught problems in their newly refurbished Housing Executive flats have left them with sky-high heating bills.

Refurbishment works at Glencoole House were completed late last year and residents have said they are delighted with the work - except for the constant draughts which are making their lives a misery.

Engineer David Percy, who suffers from emphysema, said the problem is so bad he is considering asking for a transfer despite being more than happy with his two-bedroom flat.

The 54-year-old told the Times: “The flat is fantastic they really have done a great job.

“I have a great view, I’m high up and am well away from it all, it’s a great spot to live.

“And it would be the ideal home - but for the draughts.”

He added: “It is constantly cold and always draughty.

“I have to have the Economy 7 heaters on full blast throughout the day and still need to wrap a duvet around me to keep warm.

“And because of my emphysema I can’t have it too warm or too cold so it is a real problem for me.

“It wasn’t like this before and the Housing Executive have not yet checked on the work properly.

“Now they are having to spend money on investigating the problem and fixing it.

“I’m paying for it, the taxpayer is paying for it and it’s money that could have gone to providing homes for people in need of a house. But instead it’s just wasted.”

David said that since he moved back into the flat his electric bills have been around three times more than they were previously. He said if the problem continued he would be forced to request a transfer.

Neighbour Tommy Milne faced an eye-watering electric bill of over £500 for the last quarter because of his constant use of heating in his two-bedroom flat.

The nightshift worker added: “Everyone is complaining about it. Workers have been out and they know all about the problem.

“But that doesn’t help me or my neighbours, we’re too old for the cold.

“We have been back in the flat for almost two years and our heating bills are going up and our rent will be going up again in April, but yet there is a real problem and the Housing Executive either don’t have the money to fix it or don’t know what the problem is,” said the 59-year-old.

The Housing Executive has said there is “no question” of the money not being available to carry out the work

A spokesman said: “The Glencoole House Multi Element Improvement Scheme, commenced on site on the March 31, 2009 and was completed on October 12 2012.

“Recently a few instances of draughts have been reported through our response maintenance department.

“An order has been raised to check the quality of the insulation to ceilings, wall panels and floors and this will hopefully be carried out this week.”