Anger as council's maintenance work in Panshanger takes six months

PUBLISHED: 18:49 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:31 16 May 2018

The work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James Rackley

The work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James Rackley

Archant

A Panshanger resident has laid into the borough council after maintenance work outside his home has taken nearly six months to complete.

The work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James RackleyThe work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James Rackley

James Rackley, 60, said the contractors working on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Council started digging outside his flat in New Wood around mid-December last year.

The mess, which he said includes a 5ft-deep hole blocking the building’s entrance, has been blighting residents’ lives and forced them to use a wobbly plank to reach the entrance.

“On the ground floor there is a resident with a little kid, she’s walking over plywood to get in to her flat,” he told the WHT. “That little girl could trip up and God knows what would happen.”

James, who makes garden furniture for a living, has been left infuriated by the slow progress for what he said appears to be fairly routine work.

The work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James RackleyThe work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James Rackley

“They built Aldi quicker than they dug this hole,” he added. “They told me it will be finished by the 16th of May but that will be two weeks short of six months.

“It just goes on and on when all they have to do is put another pipe in as far as I have been told.”

The problem was exacerbated by the recent hot weather – which caused the smell of “raw sewage” to permeate through the area.

A borough council spokeswoman said: “The initial job – phase one – was to dig out 15 metres of drain pipe, remove and replace it.

The work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James RackleyThe work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James Rackley

“The work was needed due to a substantial and recurring blockage.

“Once this had been completed it was apparent more work was required – an extra 23 metres of pipe needed to be dug up and renewed. “This second phase of work was authorised in early April.

“The site is sectioned off from the public as residents’ safety is always the top priority and we apologise for any inconvenience this additional work and the time taken to complete it has caused.

“The target date for completion of the work is this Friday, May 18.”

The work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James RackleyThe work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James Rackley

The work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James RackleyThe work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James Rackley

The work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James RackleyThe work outside James Rackley's flat has taken nearly six months. Picture: James Rackley

James RackleyJames Rackley

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