Residents in Homepine House are involving MPs Damian Collins and Sir Peter Bottomley after being presented with a £58,000-£70,000 fire safety upgrade from Peverel, which they say is unnecessary.
Kent Fire & Rescue Service also says the upgrade is unnecessary.
In a letter to residents of December 12 2012, it writes: “Following the fire safety audit of the above premises on 7 December 2012, I am of the opinion that the premises currently demonstrate suitable and sufficient measures to satisfy the requirements of the above legislation.”
Furious residents have signed a second petition on the issue stating that they do not want the upgrade.
Now it is involving local Tory MP Damian Collins, while also urging Sir Peter Bottomley to take up the case.
A full meeting between residents and Peverel is scheduled for June 17.
Peverel responded to Carlex on May 20 over this issue, saying: “An upgrade of the fire system is due at Homepine House to ensure the development complies with current fire safety regulations.”
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Resident Alan Eadie has written to Peverel on June 4:
I write in reply to your letter of 8th May 2013, reference 10033000037, regarding the proposed works to upgrade the Fire System at Homepine House at Folkestone. I must say that I was very surprised to receive this letter, as you must know the residents of Homepine House submitted a Petition to Peverel in November 2012 making very clear they did not want this upgrade. In addition, the attached letter from the Folkestone Fire Safety Office was submitted to Peverel in December 2012. Following an audit by the Fire Safety Inspector (taking place after the ‘so called’ Cardinus Fire Risk Assessment) this letter makes clear they regard the Fire System at Homepine House to fully satisfy the present legislation. So why do you still wish to upgrade the present system, that is well known to the Kent Fire and Rescue Service to be perfectly adequate?
To the best of my knowledge and belief Peverel have made no attempt to either (a) answer the Petition from the residents of Homepine House, or (b) respond to the letter of the 12 December from the Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Why is this? It is well known that the Courts in the past have criticised Peverel for treating their residents with “arrogance” and for “the intentional hiding of information to which residents would have been entitled”. Yet, here we go again! Still no lessons learnt! The former disgraceful Peverel culture clearly still pervades throughout the organisation!
Why are Peverel treating the residents of Homepine House with such arrogance over this issue? Of the residents at Homepine House I have spoken to, there is clearly much anger and disgust that Peverel should still intend to proceed. Indeed, I have no doubt in my mind, should Peverel proceed with this upgrade, the strength of this anger is such that there will be an application made to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal Service and/or for Right To Manage so as to obtain a Managing Agent who will treat their residents with respect.
When Peverel went out to tender for the Fire Risk Assessment Service, they did not ask a single member of the Fire Risk Engineers Trade Body to quote!! It is now obvious why Peverel did not want a known qualified body to do this work! With the exorbitant cost of the Cardinus Service (£1656 in the financial year 2011/2012 compared with nil in previous years, undertaken by trained Peverel staff) to produce a fire assessment report, is it surprising Cardinus will say whatever Peverel want them to say? So, whom do you really think any reasonable person (let alone an LVT) would believe, when it comes to deciding between the credibility of (i) the Fire Service or (ii) the unqualified staff of Cardinus, regarding the Fire System at Homepine House?