Council demands action from Bouygues after balcony collapses

A London politician has demanded a fast response from Bouygues after part of a balcony collapsed within a housing development built by the contractor.

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell wrote to the French-owned contractor’s management urging inspections be carried out “at pace”.

The local authority said part of a balcony facade at Weaver’s Quarter in east London collapsed on Saturday (11 November) in a “horrifying experience” for residents.

Bouygues delivered the homes on the former Gascoigne Estate in Barking for L&Q, which was acting as development agent and subsequently sold the homes in this phase to the council, which now owns them through its housing company Reside.

Rodwell wrote in his letter to Bouygues: “In September, L&Q served a defect notice on Bouygues about the soundness of the balcony facades.

“I understand that Bouygues has accepted this notice, but not yet liability for the work. I understand Bouygues has already completed repairs to some balconies on the estate.

“I expect all remaining inspections to be carried out at pace so that work can be completed to make good the remaining balconies.”

Although no one was hurt by the balcony collapse, the council said in a statement that it posed “a risk to people who may be passing by”.

It added: “Reside is arranging works to reduce the risk until we have clear assurance that all balconies on the estate are safe.

“We are currently in discussions with Bouygues to impress on it the need to take urgent action on the concerns raised. We will continue to work with Bouygues, L&Q and Reside to address any ongoing resident concerns.”

Resident Matt Lismore published on social media an email he sent to Rodwell in May 2022 raising “concern about the management and build quality” of Weaver’s Quarter. “No action was taken,” claimed Lismore.

Bouygues UK said in a statement: “Following the incident at Weaver’s Quarter Estate, where some soffit boards detached and fell from a balcony, our main concern has been ensuring residents’ safety.

“We are working hard with Reside to take immediate action, put the necessary safety measures in place and undertake appropriate remediation works.”

L&Q declined to comment.

Balcony B 3by2

Debris after part of a balcony broke off on the Weaver’s Quarter estate in Barking. Source: Matt Lismore

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