High rise residents now in hotel for more than a month due to gas leak

'It ruined Christmas, it ruined New Year and now it's ruined my birthday' <i>(Image: The Argus)</i>
'It ruined Christmas, it ruined New Year and now it's ruined my birthday' (Image: The Argus)

Residents of a council high rise have now been living in hotels for more than a month as a gas leak at their property on Christmas Eve has still not been fixed.

People living in one block of St John's Mount in Kemp Town, Brighton, were evacuated from their flats on Christmas Eve after a gas leak made their homes unsafe.

Now, more than a month later, they are still unable to return home as repair works are unfinished.

Timothy Maddran, 62, has told The Argus of his peril as he has now had to move from the hotel he was originally placed in.

Mr Maddran said: "It is getting ridiculous now. We have been out of our flats for more than a month and there is still no clarity on when we will be able to return home."

"It wrecked Christmas, it wrecked New Year and it wrecked my birthday [January 25]."

Mr Maddran and his wife were originally placed in Leonardo Hotel, the former Jury's Inn, at Brighton station.

Earlier this week, the pair had to move to Travellodge in West Street.

"It is a nuisance that is and its dragging on," said Mr Maddran. "It has put my wife and I all out of sorts."

A total of 13 properties had to be evacuated, including families with young children.

The building's gas supply is provided by SGN, formerly Southern Gas Network, which is currently carrying out maintenance work to allow the residents to return home.

Mr Maddran said: "I am most frustrated with the council, which I feel has a duty of care for us residents.

"I am paying my rent and council tax but what is it for?

"We feel we have been completely sidelined and neglected by the council who just are not listening to us anymore."

A spokeswoman for SGN said: "We’re very sorry for the disruption which some of our customers in St Mount Pleasant, Brighton, have experienced due to a gas escape last month.

"Our teams are continuing work to install new pipes, including throughout the weekend. All being well, we’re aiming to finish by Friday, February 3.

"Our project team are liaising regularly with the residents to ensure they remain informed and supported during our work."

Mr Maddran said he now takes all time frames "with a pinch of salt".

"Anything sooner than ten days from now will be a bonus," said Mr Maddran.

Previously, a spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council told the Argus: “Because of a gas leak a number of residents at St John’s Mount had to be moved for safety reasons just before Christmas.

“Gas supply to the building is a matter for SGN, not the council.

“SGN immediately arranged for alternative accommodation for the residents.

“Our housing team is keeping in touch with the residents who have had to move. We understand that they are satisfied with the arrangements SGN have made for them.

“We are also in regular contact with SGN. We know they are aware of the importance of making the necessary repairs as soon as possible so that the residents can move back in to their home."