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Residents moved from Lawford sheltered housing over legionella fears

Honeycroft sheltered housing in Lawford. Picture: TDC

Honeycroft sheltered housing in Lawford. Picture: TDC

Archant

Twelve people have been moved out of a sheltered housing scheme in north Essex over fears of legionella at the site.

Tendring District Council-run Honeycroft, in Waldegrave Way, Lawford, is being closed down while investigations, including water sampling, are carried out at the building.

Staff met with residents this morning to discuss the situation, and the authority decided to relocate people following advice from specialist consultants.

Temporary council-owned accommodation is being provided for the residents.

Paul Honeywood, district councillor for housing, said the move is a precautionary measure at this stage.

He said: “Legionella has not been positively identified in the water system at the site but we have been told there is a high risk as the right conditions for legionella growth to develop have been identified.

“We are talking about vulnerable members of the community who need to be properly protected and we feel we need to take these steps now, rather than wait for the test results to come back.

“I wish to emphasise that legionella has not been found – and no-one has become ill.”

The risk involves the main building and the bungalows, which are on a different water supply, are not affected.

Routine tests by the council showed the hot water was cooler and the cold water was warmer than it should be, providing the conditions in which legionella bacteria can grow.

The building, constructed in 1961, and another in Spendells House, Walton, are currently under an unrelated review due to their age and under-occupation.

“All the residents will be supported on a one-to-one basis by a council officer and given the opportunity to move to alternative council accommodation within the district,” added Cllr Honeywood.

“Officers will continue to work with the specialists to find a solution to the problem.”

The council’s Walton lifestyles leisure centre was closed last December after a man was taken ill and samples tested positive for legionella bacteria.

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