WIGAN’S housing chief has insisted he will not be rushed into a quick fix solution to treat the mysterious green mould blighting one of the borough’s tallest high-rise flats.
Ashley Crumbley, chief executive of Wigan and Leigh Housing, spoke out as the problems affecting the Scholes Village development ran into their 18th month.
The unsightly blotches – known as algae blooms – have subsequently developed into a considerably worse problem.
Residents say this has coincided with the completion of a new external rendering of the six blocks which were designed to reduce heating bills and aid ventilation and humidity control in the summer.
However, a legal battle is now raging over who caused the mould to appear and how it happened.
Mr Crumbley said he was determined to find a solution to the problems affecting Scholes Village to ensure there was no reoccurrence of the green menace.
He said: “This form of algae appears in the natural environment but has been made worse by the extremely wet winter. We are working with our contractors to find a long-term solution rather than a quick fix.
“A solution has already been offered but we remain to be convinced that this would provide a long-term solution. The algae is unsightly, but poses no risk to health.
“Residents continue to benefit from much lower fuel bills thanks to this external cladding.
“We believe it is unwise to undertake the works in the cold wet winter months so we are continuing to undertake technical assessments to find out why this is affecting the new surface so badly and determine the most effective way of treating the problem permanently.
“This will take a little time so we are keeping our residents informed of the situation”.
However, many resident remain concerned over a potential risk to health and are calling for an independent scientific review.
Syd Hall, who has lived in Crompton House for the past quarter of a century, said: “These flats have been up 40 years and the original brick work looked fine with not a trace of green on any single one of them, so this rendering has made them look a lot worse, not better and seems to have been a total waste of money.
“We were all invited down to the Oak Hotel for a presentation by Wigan and Leigh Homes on what the flats were going to look like and things haven’t turned out anything like that.”