Furious residents are demanding answers after claims the ongoing roof replacement error in Dundee could have cost lives during Storm Arwen.
People living in one of the flats affected in Clepington Road said it was a miracle that no one was killed as tiles flew from the roof during Friday night’s storm.
It comes after Dundee City Council installed 450 roofs in recent years which failed to meet safety standards.
The problem surrounds a change in British Safety Standard regulations in 2015 that the council failed to pick up until late 2019.
On Friday night, tiles on a Clepington Road block of flats affected by the blunder flew from the building, sparking fears someone could be hurt or killed.
Residents of the block are angry as they say nobody from the council has been to inspect the damage in the wake of Storm Arwen.
They are desperate for repairs to be carried out as soon as possible to prevent potential injury.
Damaged roof did not meet standards
The council initially said the property was not among those to be replaced as part of the £4 million error but have since admitted that is not the case.
One furious resident, who asked not to be named, said: “There were tiles flying everywhere.
“There are tiles smashed on the ground below and there are still tiles hanging off the roof ready to fall on anyone below.
“If we get more wind someone is going to be killed – it’s only a matter of time.”
The resident also pointed to a shed, owned by a pensioner in the block, that was destroyed by falling tiles.
He said: “Thank goodness no one was in the shed, it was completely smashed by a heavy tile falling on to it.”
The owner-occupier has taken his complaint straight to the top – emailing Robin Presswood, executive director of city development on Saturday.
He followed this up on Monday with a further email to executive director of neighbourhood services, Elaine Zwirlwin.
Despite these emails, the council initially said there had been no complaints to them regarding any property damaged that was already earmarked to have a roof replaced.
Now, they say there has been a complaint.
In his response to the resident, Mr Presswood insisted there are no health and safety issues.
The letter, seen by the Courier, he says: “The opinion is that the non-compliance in fixings presents no short-term integrity concerns.
“However, it is recognised that these roofs will require remedial works to bring them to full compliance for long-term integrity.
“As there is no evidence of any health and safety issues caused by the failure to update working practices, I do not uphold this aspect of your complaint.”
‘Multiple points of failure’
Earlier this month John Alexander, the leader of Dundee City Council, promised a full investigation into the roof replacement error that could cost taxpayers £4.4 million.
Mr Alexander says there were “multiple points of failure” that led to the local authority installing roofing that is below British safety standards.
Mr Alexander said: “Answers are exactly what we all want and that is the reason why I sought an external and independent assessment of this whole situation.
“We need a full and honest assessment of what went wrong and when.
“There was extensive damage across the city because of Storm Arwen and there were a great many tiles blown off properties of all ages and types.
“Chimneys, trees, tiles and even caravans all bore the brunt of the weather.”
He added: “It’s important to emphasise the roofs during 2015-2019 were done to the same safety standards as the decades before.
“The problem related to British standards, which are best practice and not about legal health and safety standards, which are mandatory.
“I’m advised the roofs completed during 2015 to 2019 meet all health and safety standards required and done for decades beforehand.”
Mr Alexander said his focus, as well as that of his political colleagues, is to “get these roofs redone as soon as feasible.”
Residents ‘contacted directly’
A spokesman for the council said: “The policy and resources committee agreed last week the 450 roofs were not installed to the full requirements of the 2015 British Standard, covering 262 owners and 894 tenants will be brought up to the recommended standard through a programme of works starting early next year.
“Those people affected by the situation are being contacted directly.
“The past weekend’s Storm Arwen was an exceptional set of circumstances and the first red warning issued by the Met Office since 2018.
“A small number of our tenants reported roof damage as a result of the storm. We have also received information about a single owner occupied property that was damaged and is in the programme for replacement.”