Belfast Seven Towers residents' concern over £7m revamp

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Residents from the Seven Towers flats in north Belfast are concerned that a £7m revamp will not improve their living conditions.

They intend to hand in a petition later to the NI Housing Executive, setting out their views.

The Executive said the scheme would focus on essential structural repair work and would address thermal insulation problems.

But Kate Ward from the PPR Project said some residents were concerned.

The Participation and Practice of Rights (PPR) project supports those living at the Seven Towers.

"Residents welcome the investment, they have been campaigning on the issue for four years," said Ms Ward.

"But 83 residents have complained about serious dampness over the past two years."

Ms Ward said the residents were concerned that the £7m investment should meet and address their needs.

"The reason they are handing over this petition is simply to ask that the £7m investment shows that it is capable of addressing these needs."

Malachy McKinney from the Housing Executive said some of the flats had been built 40 years and that structural repairs were necessary and essential for the fabric of the building.

But at the same time, the Executive planned to install double glazed windows to address heating issues.

"We are satisfied that this scheme will improve thermal insulation," he said.

Mr McKinney said the Executive's view was that the majority of residents were happy with the plans to repair the building.

He said the petition had 100 signatures and there were 400 residents in the flats. But he said all the residents would be invited along to view the proposals and give their opinions.

"We want to inform them and give them the best information and we have been doing that," he said.

"Our view is that the majority of residents are happy for this work to go ahead."

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