Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trouble in Store; Sainsbury's Moved out of Blackfriars, and a Swarm of Mosquitos Moved in. Now the Neighbours Want Blood. Homes & Property

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trouble in Store; Sainsbury's Moved out of Blackfriars, and a Swarm of Mosquitos Moved in. Now the Neighbours Want Blood. Homes & Property

Article excerpt

Byline: MIRA BAR-HILLEL

BEING awakened at 3.30am by the buzzing and biting of mosquitos is something normally associated with holidays in hot countries.

But, for the residents of Kings Reach, a block of 150 flats in Stamford Street, near Blackfriars Bridge, it is an unwelcome experience, and not an extra they expected when they bought [pounds sterling]1 million apartments in central London.

However, the annoying and potentially dangerous insects have been breeding in large green pools of stagnant water, left to accumulate untreated on a site recently vacated by Sainsbury's. For almost three months, Kings Reach residents have been pleading with the company to have the water pumped away.

Following repeated promises and assurances but no action, they contacted Homes & Property.

Rod Clutton is a director of developer Wates City and a member of the residents' management company for the block. He said: "It's an insult for the company to keep saying it will be cleared up 'by the end of the week' and 'in the next few days' and then to do nothing.

"Beside the sleepless nights and the irritation of the bites, we are increasingly aware of the potential risk of diseases."

In addition to malaria, fatal cases of which have doubled in the UK recently, mosquitoes can also spread the deadly West Nile virus, which is also carried by horses and some migratory birds. It causes inflammation of the brain and there have been 2,874 cases in America this year - causing 53 deaths.

Mr Clutton said: "Sainsbury's appeared happy to pay [pounds sterling]2.4 million to a former chairman who was not exactly successful, and are now apparently unable to manage a puddle."

In a letter to the company, he said: "Kings Reach consists of about 150 prestigious apartments, the majority of which are occupied by judges, barristers and people of influence in the City. It would seem that Sainsbury's must have a death wish to irritate so many people so needlessly."

A Sainsbury's spokesperson said: "A faulty pump, which has caused the problem, is being replaced. …

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