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Fish Island neighbours claim victory as cracks appear in 'engineering nightmare'

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 October 2019

Neighbours protested against the building of a 10ft concrete bridge in Monier Road in 2016. Picture: Ken Mears

Neighbours protested against the building of a 10ft concrete bridge in Monier Road in 2016. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Neighbours have claimed victory after building work was halted at a controversial new bridge.

People living in Fish Island, Hackney Wick, opposed to the replacement of a pedestrian and cycle bridge with one able to carry vehicles over the River Lea at Monier Road describe the work as "an engineering nightmare".

Peter Sullivan said: "For years people protested about this unneccessary work. Cramming a main road into the narrow space between Omega Works and the Carlton Chimney on one side and Carpenter's Wharf on the other, is creating an engineering nightmare."

The neighbours claim cracks in blocks of flats nearby prompted suspension of construction work on the link to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Peter said: "Demolition of the cycling and pedestrian bridge has made residents angry and now we are getting problems in the apartments."

But a spokeswoman for LLDC and Balfour Beatty, the building firm doing the job, said: "Works have ceased while we investigate the appearance of minor cracks to internal plasterboard in the wall of a block of flats adjacent to the site.

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"We will continue to liaise with residents, businesses and the relevant authorities as this investigation is ongoing."

Since 2016, opponents have staged demonstrations, warned of building problems and criticised the scheme for the bridge and a raised road as not justified when it comes to how much traffic is likely to use it.

And neighbours at the Omega Works building also claim their freeholder, Wallace Estates, isn't helping.

Peter said: "We expected them to resist these major works vigorously, but we have been disappointed and now fear leasholders will be asked to foot the bill for any damage caused by the works."

He added they may seek judicial review, claiming LLDC had left them "high and dry".

A Wallace Estates spokesman said: "As part of our role as freeholder, we have had several meetings with LLDC and raised a number of specific concerns about the adverse effects of the construction works on our residents."

He added that no leaseholders have contacted the company which had not been made aware of any damage to apartments.

"We continue to maintain an active dialogue with all stakeholders and will be raising any specific issues with LLDC if we are requested to do so," he said.

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