Consultation commences on future of tower block
The council has launched a consultation on the future of Queensway House, Hatfield, with the tower block's tenants and residential and commercial leaseholders.
The consultation began this week (commencing 12 August) as the council started a round of face-to-face meetings with everyone in the block.
It follows a Cabinet report highlighting the age of the building and uncertainty around emerging government legislation relating to high-rise blocks. To continue to maintain the block while addressing these issues will have a significant cost, and the building's limitations mean that it would still not deliver on the council's vision for its future housing provision.
The council has also considered the impact of carrying out the major works proposed for Queensway House. These would create long-term disruption for residents, including moving them out of the block for a considerable amount of time.
All those living in the block, along with its commercial leaseholders, are being asked to consider four options for the council:
1. Continue to manage and maintain Queensway House with the required investment to ensure it complies with the required standards now and in the future.
2. Help all occupants of Queensway House to move out of the building permanently and leave it empty, effectively mothballing the site.
3. Help all occupants to move out permanently and demolish the building.
4. Help all occupants to move out permanently, demolish the building, and redevelop the site.
Cllr Nick Pace, the council's Executive Member for Housing and Community, said:
A lot has changed since 2008 and the building is getting more and more expensive to run. Significant investment will be needed just to maintain the building and keep up with new and emerging regulations. The work necessary to do that would also create significant disruption to residents for prolonged periods. Even with these works Queensway House will not provide the modern, energy efficient and attractive accommodation which the council wishes to provide for people.
It is important to stress that no decision has been made yet. We want to know what people whose homes and businesses are based at Queensway House think about its future, and we are working with everyone affected individually to discuss the options - this will help inform Members when they are making their final decision on the best option.