HSE orders halt to building work after structural damage forces evacuation

Students in Manchester have been forced to leave their rented accommodation because it is in danger of collapsing.

Ten students attending Manchester Metropolitan University took out a lease on the property on Slade Lane last month.

Six students moved in while building work was being carried out underneath the kitchen to create an additional room. However, cracks began to appear and plaster started to fall from the ceiling and walls.

One of the students, Abigail Milnes, contacted her father after seeing daylight through a crack in her room. He instructed her to leave and alerted the police.

Design student Abigail, 19, told the Manchester Evening News: “When the cracks appeared I was a bit troubled and I rang the landlord. A couple of days later there was a massive crack in my room which went around the whole corner where my bed was.”

Her father, Alan, said he initially believed his daughter was exaggerating, until he saw the damage for himself. “When I saw it I got all the students out of the building and phoned the police. It was extremely dangerous. The house is impossible to be occupied,” he added.

Emergency remedial works have been ordered by council officials to make the building safe, but students have been told not to return to collect their belongings from rooms at the rear of the house.

Landlord Pegasus Residential has found temporary accommodation for the students.

The UK Health and Safety Executive has served a “prohibition order” on the property, forcing an immediate halt to the work due to the dangers it poses to builders and the public.

A city council spokesperson said the property owner was arranging for remedial work to be done.