Residents left 'angry and frustrated' by installation of new heating system

Residents of Lamberts Close upset at the work installing a new heating system at their homes at Weas

Residents of Lamberts Close upset at the work installing a new heating system at their homes at Weasenehm St Peter by the Flagship Group. Peter Jackson, front, with, from left, Shirley Webb, Terry Nelson, Sue Raines with Ollie the dog, Nigel Potter, Jenny Tidman, Richard Frost and Jack Hargreaves. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Residents of a sheltered housing community fear their bills could double as a result of a new heating system.

Peter Jackson, who lives on Lamberts Close in Weasenham St Peter feels angry and frustrated by Victory Homes over the installation of a new heating system for the 32 properties on the sheltered housing plot. He said the bill could double and the timeframe for the work to be completed has been extended.

He said work started in November, with a goal to be completed by February, which was then extended to April. He said that residents are now being told that the work will be finished by the end of 2022.

Lamberts Close resident Peter Jackson upset at the work installing a new heating system at his and h

Lamberts Close resident Peter Jackson upset at the work installing a new heating system at his and his neighbours' homes by the Flagship Group at Weasenehm St Peter. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Victory Homes say the company is sorry for any disruption caused to tenants, but that they have been kept up to date via a dedicated site manager.

The company added that the installation of the ground source heat pump; a renewable energy system, has, unfortunately, due to a shortage of materials, taken longer than hoped. However, they say it will complete the installation, and restore any affected areas, in April.

Mr Jackson said cheaper bills were one of the draws from this new system, but after they contacted Which? to ask about the impact on the bills, he claims the new system will raise electricity bills from £600, to £1,200 a year.

Lamberts Close resident, Michael Lambert, 79, upset at the work installing a new heating system at h

Lamberts Close resident, Michael Lambert, 79, upset at the work installing a new heating system at his and his neighbours' homes at Weasenehm St Peter by the Flagship Group. Michael tripped over sandbags by the kerb, and has has his concrete path broken during the work, causing another trip hazard. = - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

“The people here will struggle with this, I appreciate they were putting this in before the invasion by Russia, but they promised cheaper bills,” he said.

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“We are at a point where we can say we do not want this new system, but we cannot stop them putting in the pipes, but we can still say no to the system.

Lamberts Close resident Michael Lambert's concrete path broken during work installing a new heating

Lamberts Close resident Michael Lambert's concrete path broken during work installing a new heating system at Weasenehm St Peter, which he feels may cause a trip hazard. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

“I’m just so frustrated, angry and disappointed, we have all retired here with health problems and this is the last thing we need.”

Charlie Conley, head of asset investment for Flagship Group, said: “When communal heating networks are due for an upgrade, we take the opportunity to assess them fully, to ensure they are fit for the future and offer the standards that we want for our tenants.

“Individual use will play a part in the cost of the bills, as will the increase to the cost of living that people across the country have seen since we started the installation. However, we will be talking to our tenants about the best way to use the system in the most efficient way.”

Lamberts Close at Weasenehm St Peter where work to install a new heating system is being carried out

Lamberts Close at Weasenehm St Peter where work to install a new heating system is being carried out by the Flagship Group. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY