Cardinal Lofts: Ipswich residents receive prohibition threat
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27 February 2023
About 100 residents were asked to leave Cardinal Lofts in Ipswich on Tuesday after building surveys identified a high "life safety" risk.
A letter sent on Friday told residents, who refused to leave, that firefighters could issue a "prohibition order".
The fire service says it has no intention of issuing a notice.
The building's freeholder Grey GR said it would "strongly encourage all residents to comply" with the evacuation.
Claire Hamblion, who has refused to leave her flat on the first floor, told BBC Radio Suffolk: "To receive clear evidence that we're not being told the truth about what's going on here, you go from feeling traumatised, to absolutely outrageously angry about it.
"There's such a lack of trust in what's going on here, that I don't believe if I leave my home I'm ever going to get it back."
The letter from Principle Estate Management, seen by the BBC, wrote: "We have received indication that, should residents refuse to evacuate, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service will issue a prohibition order on the entire building".
A spokesman for the fire service said in response it was "incorrectly reported" that it "intends to issue a further prohibition notice".
Some residents told the BBC an amended letter - omitting any mention of a prohibition order - was sent out later in the evening.
A Grey GR spokesman did not address the letter from Friday, but said: "It is crucial that residents understand the risk to their safety and we strongly encourage all residents to comply with the evacuation requirements.
"We understand this is a distressing time for residents, however the decision was made in the best interests and safety of residents and was not made lightly."
Alex Dickin, who rents out a flat on the fifth floor and who helped set up the Ipswich Cladiators Group, said eight out of 80 flats in the building were still occupied.
He added: "Despite the known fire risks, it is intolerable to contemplate leaving your home without a guaranteed return date. We cannot trust the freeholder to do the work and give us our homes back."
Repairs have been required to Cardinal Lofts, on Foundry Lane at the Ipswich Waterfront, since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.
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