Around 20 homes in Northampton left without hot water or heating for more than FOUR days

Residents were left frustrated and annoyed after a problem with a communal boiler meant they did not have access to hot water for more than four days

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 11:19 am
Homes were affected in the Scribers Drive and Mill Pond Drive area of Upton. Photo: Google Maps.

A number of properties in Northampton have been left without heating or hot water for more than four days due to an issue with a district heating system.

Residents of around 20 homes in the Upton area - specifically around Scribers Drive and Mill Pond Drive, noticed a lack of hot water late on Wednesday night (March 24).

All of the homes affected are served by a communal boiler, which feeds into tanks in each of the properties.

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There was an issue with the district boiler, which housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) is responsible for, but the problem was not fixed until yesterday (March 29).

Residents, some of whom are shielding or have young children, were frustrated by the slow response and some also claim that they were not aware of what was going on as communication from the housing association was sparse.

One resident, who was affected by the issue, said: “I am shielding and my neighbour has a four-month-old. It’s not good enough.

“They (Metropolitan) did come out and give me a fan heater and they knocked on a few doors, but that doesn’t help with the hot water.

“I’m prone to getting ill, which is why I’m shielding so I need to wash my hands regularly with hot water. Anti-bacterial gel is not as effective.

“I first reported the issue on Thursday morning (March 25). I’ve rang several times since and on one occasion I was told to boil the kettle to wash my hands. I was so annoyed by this. It’s disgraceful.

“On another occasion I was on hold for 40 minutes and couldn’t get through.

“They did send a text message saying they were looking for a fix, but it gave us no indication as to how long the problem would go on for.

“This happens a lot too, it’s not just a one-off and it is never fixed within 24 hours. It’s very frustrating.”

The housing association was contacted for comment to clarify what the problem was, why it took four days to fix it and to address the claims of poor communication.

A spokeswoman for MTVH said: “We would like to thank our residents for their patience while we have been carrying out a major emergency repair at one of our district heating sites in Northampton.

“MTVH received a report that the site lost pressure on Thursday March 25, and heating was affected as a result.

“Our contractors, Aaron Services, allocated temporary heating during the repairs and residents were informed via SMS during the investigation.

“Service has been fully restored to all but two flats while we arrange access with the affected residents and complete our work.”

The resident confirmed that hot water and heating came back on in their property at around 10pm yesterday (March 29).

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