‘Fungus flats’ residents’ joy

Cladding on the blocks of flats in Scholes
Cladding on the blocks of flats in Scholes

Residents have been delighted with work to rid a Wigan suburb’s high rise homes of unsightly and mysterious growths.

It was in 2012 that concerns were first raised over a kind of green mould, later identified as algae blooms, on the exterior of the Scholes flats.

Syd Hall, armed with a gas mask, at Crompton House, Scholes, which was coated with patches of a green growth

Syd Hall, armed with a gas mask, at Crompton House, Scholes, which was coated with patches of a green growth

This was only three years after they had been fitted with high-tech membranes costing £10m which were intended to keep tenants cool in summer and help with heating bills in winter.

Some of the residents, in those days represented by the late tenant Syd Hall, were concerned that the mould could have medical repercussions and was also putting off potential buyers. Mr Hall took to wearing a gas mask to make his point!

Wigan and Leigh Housing maintained that the algae was naturally occurring and had been made worse by a particularly wet summer in 2012.

There were then delays as a legal wrangle broke out over responsibility. But in the summer of 2015 remediation work finally began. Scaffolding and cladding has moved from one block to another and there is still work to come. Residents, however, have been pleased with the results.

The first phase saw contractor, Seddon, improve the exterior render on Brook House. Now the work has moved onto other affected housing blocks.

Matt Roberts, director of asset management and development at Wigan and Leigh Homes, said: “We have been working for some time in partnership with our contractor to find a solution to the issues with the cladding system. Already residents in Brook House are benefitting from this work and we have had positive feedback from them. We would like to thank the residents for their patience and cooperation during these works.”