Investigation continues into gas leak at Melville development


Public health experts are continuing to investigate how to address the cause of raised carbon dioxide levels resulted in tenants of a Melville Housing development in Gorebridge being moved out of their homes.

The Association was contacted by Midlothian Council’s environmental health services in September 2016 after they had been called by some residents in Newbyres Avenue.

Subsequent testing by the relevant authorities showed raised levels of carbon dioxide in some properties.

As a precaution, and to allow more extensive testing to be carried out, four households were moved out, initially to temporary accommodation and subsequently to permanent alternative housing.

Under the advice and guidance of the relevant statutory authorities, Melville commissioned a specialist firm of engineers to monitor all houses and ground floor flats in the development.

In a number of cases, following initial testing, homes have been fitted with CO2 alarms and a 24 hour call out service put in place.

Yesterday councillors were told that an incident management team of public health experts, including the council’s environmental health officers, is continuing to investigate the issue.

Meanwhile, a Care for People Group, including the council’s adult health and social care and housing teams, is working with Melville Housing to support the residents impacted.

Although no decision has been taken about the future of the development, the council said work to address the situation will be required.

Andrew Noble, chief executive of Melville Housing Association, said: “The actions that we’ve taken at Newbyres have been in the interests of tenant safety, which is always our number one priority. We’re aware of how disruptive this whole situation is and have sympathy for the four households affected. We did our best to work closely with them at what was a difficult and challenging time, keeping in daily contact and doing everything we could to meet their individual needs.

“Unfortunately at any one time we have very few empty homes and not all properties which become available are suitable for individual requirements. As a result it took some time to find the right permanent housing for those affected.

“We are doing everything we can to resolve this situation as quickly as possible, however the first stage is to identify the exact nature and extent of the problem. We would like to thank our tenants for their patience and cooperation during the monitoring period, which has been both intensive and sometimes intrusive, including weekly visits to download data. Once the full details are available of all the monitoring that has been carried out, both on our behalf and by other bodies, we will identify what further steps we need to take to address this problem.

“In the meantime we would ask any Melville tenant in the area who has concerns about their home to contact us directly.”

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