St Mary’s Path estate: Campaigners demand landlord trying to solve damp problems removes demolition option

The St Mary's Path Estate with Upper Street in the bottom left-hand corner. Picture: Google StreetVi

The St Mary's Path Estate with Upper Street in the bottom left-hand corner. Picture: Google StreetView - Credit: Archant

Campaigners battling to save their estate from demolition have demanded the landlord investigates all other options to resolve damp issues.

Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA) last year drew up five options to rid St Mary’s Path estate of damp – including flattening it completely.

But most of the families, some of whom have lived on the estate since it was built 70 years ago, do not want to leave their homes and say damp is not justification for demolition.

On top of that, they say the problems aren’t that bad, and only some of the flats are affected. Their belief was strengthened when damp specialist Jason Mahoney contacted the Gazette after reading the initial story, saying the only way it could be damp enough to need knocking down would be if a tidal wave had hit it.

Then at a shambolic public meeting in November, ISHA CEO Clare Thomson could not say how many homes were blighted by the problem.

In December, ISHA hired Bailey Garner to conduct a non-intrusive thermal survey of the blocks to see where the damp is. But protest group Protect Our Estate Together (Poet) wants more detailed work to be done – and has written to ISHA insisting all options for demolition are removed.

The letter reads: “We welcome ISHA’s commitment to getting rid of damp on the estate. However, we think it is not right they have started developing ‘options’ for the estate without knowing what the causes of damp are, or how many flats are affected by it and to what degree.

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“Given the lack of information available, we wonder how the board will be able to choose options. We ask that proper damp surveys are carried out before any options are developed.

“Residents should be involved in this and in assessing the issues for our individual flats, since not everyone has damp.”

The statement was signed by 94 people from 67 of the 103 flats, so represents the views of more than two thirds. It also demands any options involving changes to tenancies and social rents are withdrawn.

ISHA did not respond to a request for comment but a POET spokesman told the Gazette Ms Thomson had said she would pass the statement to the board for consideration at its meeting next month.

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