St Leonards: Fears people could be killed or injured by broken glass on high-rise balconies

People’s lives are being put at risk due to broken and loose glass on the balconies of a high-rise block in St Leonards, residents and a county councillor fear.

Many sections of glass on the balconies of Kennedy Court, one of the four high-rise blocks in Stonehouse Drive in Hollington, are cracked and damaged, Phil Scott, Hastings county councillor for Hollington and Wishing Tree, said.

He added that residents in the block, which is managed by Southern Housing, have expressed concern over the state of the balconies.

Firefighters attended Kennedy Court on Sunday (March 31) following concerns raised.

Cllr Scott said precarious looking sections of glass were found on the first floor and on the 16th floor.

He said: “On two floors there were sections of glass that had clearly broken and in my mind a potential hazard if we were to have high winds for the broken glass to drop out and fall to the ground. If either of those came out during high winds we could be looking at someone being seriously harmed or even a fatality.

“I was absolutely shocked when at the Four Courts working over the Easter weekend I was looking around at the blocks and giving some thought as to how they looked and the condition of the blocks when I became fixed upon the balconies and the glass that were either badly cracked or broken, with sections of the glass just waiting to drop out.

“It worried me greatly so much so I contacted East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and advised there was broken glass overhanging very close to a public walkway and posed a very serious threat to residents’ safety.

“They responded well and dealt with the immediate situation. Over the Easter weekend I have written to the landlord, Southern Housing, expressing my shock at the condition of the balconies and requesting that they inspect all four tower blocks immediately and their balconies to ensure that the glass on all balconies are both safe and secure.”

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 3.26pm to Stonehouse Drive on March 31 to reports of glass hanging from a 16th floor balcony. Crews attended, cordoned off the pavement and made the area safe.”

A Southern Housing spokesperson said: “Balcony glass is a high priority repair job for us and we will take immediate action as soon as we’re informed of any issues.

“We were unaware of the broken glass on the lower floor balcony at Kennedy Court until we were alerted on Sunday (March 31). A balcony on the upper floor had previously been boarded up by our contractor and we will be replacing the glass. Both balconies have been made safe.

“We take all reports of broken glass on balconies extremely seriously and will continue to do everything we can to keep our residents and neighbours safe. We’ve written to all our residents at the Four Courts explaining the importance of reporting any issues with balcony glass.”

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