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Couple wins five-year battle with housing association for better insulation in cold home

PUBLISHED: 15:31 23 March 2019

Clarion Housing is finally insulating David Walford's home in Buxton after years of complaints. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Clarion Housing is finally insulating David Walford's home in Buxton after years of complaints. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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A 74-year-old man who suffers from a respiratory illness has finally won a five-year battle with a housing association to get better insulation in his home.

Clarion Housing is finally insulating David and Joan Walford's home in Buxton after years of complaints. Picture: Victoria PertusaClarion Housing is finally insulating David and Joan Walford's home in Buxton after years of complaints. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

David Walford and his wife Joan have lived in their home in Stracey Road, Buxton, near Aylsham, since November 2013.

Since then, they had noticed their one-bedroom bungalow would be perpetually cold during the winter months, with indoor temperatures only reaching around 11C in the morning and 17C in the afternoon despite the heating being on full blast.

Mr Walford had raised this issue to housing association Clarion Housing but was told his home could not be included in its programme of planned works.

A spokesman from Clarion Housing said: “Our technical inspection officer attended the property last year and noted the heating issues raised by the resident, however the property could not be included in our programme of planned works at the time as the property’s EPC rating was E – meaning it met the minimum energy efficiency standards.”

But the spokesman said the property has now been included in its planned works for the upcoming year after further investigation this month found some slumping in the cavity fill which could “potentially create cold spots.”

Mr Walford welcomed the housing association’s decision but criticised Clarion Housing for the delay in addressing the problem.

He had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in January and was taken seriously ill in February after being “on the verge of hypothermia” which led to a three-day stay in hospital.

“We couldn’t afford to run the heating on all day,” he said. “We couldn’t heat the place it was so cold. 
“We were just told to put up with it.”

Mr Walford claimed a surveyor who had visited his home earlier this month found only around 30pc of the wall cavity insulation filled and that it was patchy in areas.

The couple have switched energy suppliers in a bid to save costs but they still faced hundreds of pounds in their energy bills during the winter.

“We had been using 45 kWh in one day just to stay cold,” Mr Walford said.

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