Homes in Gotleigh Mare, Ashford still suffer damage from Storm Eunice four months later

A row of homes on Ashford’s “Forgotten Street” still need repair – four months after Storm Eunice ripped up wall coverings.

Angry residents of Kennington say they can’t understand why Ashford Borough Council hasn’t fixed up council-owned homes on Goteley Mere off Towers View.

The side of a house was torn down by the wind

The storm, which struck in February, lashed the town with high winds, destroying part of the roof off the County Square Shopping Center and damaging countless cars.

But while much of the repair work was completed across the city months ago, homes in Gotley Mare are still missing from their storm-torn cladding.

Privately renting couple Sean Hill and Christine Bonicy are missing a front fence after losing panels from a neighbor’s house owned by their council.

“Our garden is wide open,” said Ms. Bonisi.

“My son’s bike was recently stolen, and anyone can ride.

Plants grow through some of the rubble I left behind
Plants grow through some of the rubble I left behind

“We should have called the council about 15 times by now, and still nothing. You reach out to them and they say they have no record of it. We’ve all been calling the council since the day of the storm, and it makes us think who’s taking the calls?”

Ms. Bonisi says she called the authority too soon after the fence was demolished, saying she couldn’t let her dog out.

“I was walking home and noticed my dog ​​was with some strangers,” she said.

“The council told me that I should keep my dog ​​up front and should pay to repair the damage and claim my home insurance because my house is not owned by the council.

“Although we rent privately, it was council properties that did the damage.”

Kristen and Sean's fence was completely destroyed during a storm in February, which left them having to make temporary fencing using boxes and broken fence panels
Kristen and Sean’s fence was completely destroyed during a storm in February, which left them having to make temporary fencing using boxes and broken fence panels

The day after the storm, Bonici says, a contractor was dispatched to collect the rubble he left behind.

“They just dumped it in our front garden,” she said.

“I had to move the rubble myself and hurt my back doing it. The kids play soccer in my front yard and they might hurt themselves.

“Why should I suffer? We are Ashford’s forgotten street.”

A spokesman for the council said in a statement that the authority “apologizes for the apparent delay in repairing the damage”.

Just over four months later, homes are still reeling from the damage caused by Storm Eunice
Just over four months later, homes are still reeling from the damage caused by Storm Eunice

“We removed the rubble and made temporary repairs to the fence as soon as possible after the storm, which affected a large number of properties,” he said.

“We may not have addressed the weathering issues on some of the affected properties and will correct this without further undue delay.

“We are in the process of advancing an insurance claim for storm damage.

“The Council is considering whether there is an opportunity to improve the properties that have been lost to the cladding by installing it with external wall insulation as part of the repair process.

“The livery will be replaced as soon as possible…”

“This is in line with the Council’s Carbon Reduction and Affordable Heating Programs and the goal of ensuring all residential properties have an Energy Performance Certificate, a SAP rating of ‘C’ or higher.

“We are now completing a district-wide survey to identify recommended measures to achieve these goals, and we are waiting to see results for these particular characteristics.

“The cladding will be replaced as soon as possible.”

Elsewhere in Ashford, dozens of newly built homes in the Chelmington Green area were damaged during the storm, with cladding torn in 80-mph winds.

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