Tiles from 'unmaintained' council house smash windscreen

Smashed car windscreen in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

"If anyone was walking past at that time they would have died." - Credit: Archant

A Welwyn Garden City resident was furious to find her car's windscreen smashed by tiles which had fallen from a council-owned property during Storm Eunice.

On Friday, February 18, large tiles from the roof of a maisonette on Springfields Road flew off the building and onto the road below.

One of those tiles smashed the windscreen of a 34-year-old woman's car; the woman lives in a block of flats - also owned by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WHBC) - opposite the maisonette.

Recalling the incident, the woman said: "Tiles were literally coming off everywhere. The roof has not been maintained at all I don't think.

Smashed car windscreen in Welwyn Garden City

"I tried to ring the council repairs team on Friday. Eventually, they just turned their phones off." - Credit: Archant

"My car windscreen is absolutely completely crushed and if anyone was walking past at that time they would have died.

Large terracotta coloured, clay-looking tile from a roof in a council-owned property in Welwyn Garden City

One of the tiles from the roof. - Credit: Archant

"I'm actually petrified to walk past that building now in this weather. It's so dangerous."

The owner of the car, who asked not to be named, was particularly upset by the council's handling of the issue and said a similar incident occurred in a storm a few years ago but the council's contractors did not properly repair the roof.

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"I tried to ring the council repairs team on Friday. Eventually, they just turned their phones off. If you need to change an appointment, nobody answers the phone. It's just a nightmare. You just can't get through to them at all," she said.

She tried to call them again on Monday but was on hold for 17 minutes.

"There was a storm before a few years ago when the tiles fell off my roof as well onto the pavement. It's just so dangerous. And all they did was come out and repair one tile," she said.

"These flats are 70 years old and I don't think they've ever checked the roofs or to make sure they're safe."

A spokesperson from WHBC said: "We were informed about this issue today and we are currently assessing the situation so that repairs can be carried out as soon as possible.

"We work hard to ensure the safety of our residents, but there was unprecedented demand on our repairs service on Friday and this has continued due to the bad weather."