Ceiling falls in at ‘nightmare’ project

Jane Blandford points to the new plastwork which conceals the spots where nails were hammered through the wall.
Jane Blandford points to the new plastwork which conceals the spots where nails were hammered through the wall.
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A SPALDING woman is calling on South Holland District Council to put right building work blunders after it “upgraded” her kitchen and bathroom.

The final straw in Jane Blandford’s year-long battle came last week when part of the kitchen ceiling crashed down while she was eating tea just six feet away with her grandsons, Luke (6) and Peter (8).

She says water leaked on to the plaster because a new water pipe was not properly sealed.

Mrs Blandford’s £700 kitchen units were ripped out when the council installed its own at her Acacia Avenue home in summer 2010.

She asked contractors to make the worktops 35 inches high – the same as hers were – so the fridge and freezer, both a shade under 34 inches, would slide beneath.

But she says the council worktops are only 31 inches high.

Mrs Blandford pointed out the mistake, but instead of raising the worktops, the workmen removed plastic legs from the fridge and freezer so they would go under.

She says neither appliance has worked properly since.

Mrs Blandford explained: “They haven’t left the proper amount of space around it.

“I have to keep turning it off.”

She says the mains wire to the freezer was also damaged.

Mrs Blandford said: “We keep phoning the council. We keep having a word about it and they have done nothing about it.”

She says while the workmen were hammering in the bathroom, the ends of nails poked out through the bedroom wall beside the pillow on the bed used by her grandsons.

Mrs Blandford was told the work was supposed to last eight weeks, but the workmen were coming and going – without notice – over 21 weeks.

And that meant her job with an employment agency was disrupted because she had to be home while the workmen were in the house.

Council spokesman Dominic Chessum said: “The maintenance of our properties and treatment of our tenants is a top priority.

“The standard of work carried out by our contractors is continually monitored and we always investigate any complaints thoroughly.

“Several of the issues that Mrs Blandford raised are under investigation but others she has detailed to the Spalding Guardian are new to us – accordingly we will now also look into these issues.”