Milton Keynes resident with locked balcony 'worried' about fire

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Mellish Court in Bletchley
Image caption,
Mellish Court in Bletchley, Milton Keynes had its balconies locked after concrete fell from them

A resident in a 18-storey tower block where balconies have been locked off said her "biggest worry" was what would happen in a fire.

All balconies at Mellish Court in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, have had their locks changed after concrete began falling from them.

Milton Keynes Council claimed the building was safe but has not said when the balconies will be reopened.

Resident Carly Tierney said: "The biggest worry is means of fire escape.

"If there is a fire [the balcony] is ideal for us."

Image caption,
Resident Carly Tierney said that she used the balcony for storage and was important for her three children

Ms Tierney lives in the flat with her three children and said: "It's the not knowing that is a serious problem."

She said: "It is our fresh air especially without a garden.

"Not having your balcony and even being able to get out there is hard work especially with three kids."

Ms Tierney also said the council had not told them when the balconies would be reopened or how dangerous they were.

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Leigh and Nadine Hall said they were "fed up" with the balcony being out of use

Resident Nadine Hall said she and husband Leigh "used the balcony on a daily basis".

She said: "My husband has a chronic illness and he relies on the outdoor space.

"That outside space is his fresh air."

Mr Hall said a breathing condition meant he could not regularly leave the flat, adding: "I feel like I'm being closed off."

Image caption,
Residents say they have not been told when the balconies will re-open

At a meeting earlier this month Nigel Long, head of housing and regeneration at Milton Keynes Council, said "about a third" of balconies needed work and a few were "extremely dangerous".

In a statement, the council said it was "sorry that this essential work is taking longer than expected".

"Our priority as always is to keep all our tenants safe," it added.

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