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Flooded flats fixed

Cath Purdy

A sheltered housing scheme in Windermere owned by South Lakes Housing (SLH) has been refurbished following the damage caused by storm Desmond.

At Birthwaite Flats, Phoenix Way in Windermere, eight ground floor flats were flooded causing thousands of pounds of damage and the loss of the much loved communal lounge facilities where residents meet to interact. Six residents were evacuated at Birthwaite by the Langdale & Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team.

Some tenants were forced to move into temporary accommodation before they finally moved back into their homes. The refurbishment programme consisted of removing contaminated timber, providing new kitchen units and raising electrics. Flood resilient waterproof membranes have been installed together with improved drainage and other flood prevention solutions. The communal lounge which has is used regularly for poetry club, coffee mornings and luncheons now has new carpets and furniture.

The scheme was officially reopened by John Holmes, Chairman of the SLH, in September.

He said “The reopening of the schemes is an opportunity for us all to reflect on what happened and to thank a lot of people for the efforts they gave. We are also keen to learn lessons and to keep tenants involved in managing flood risk going forward”. The community spirit shown at the schemes has been fantastic”.

SLDC Councillor for Windermere, Cllr Ben Berry said “It is fantastic to see residents smiling and having fun. The carpets on the floor is a welcome sight to what it was just a few months ago”.