CHECKS have been carried out by the fire service on buildings of a similar style to those that were damaged by a major fire in Basingstoke last year.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) is checking similar style buildings to the apartments in Oakridge Road which went up in flames on May 27, 2023, causing severe damage and leaving 24 families displaced.

Since then, the fire service has issued enforcement action to Vivid Housing in relation to 85 similar buildings in the Oakridge area, asking them to carry out works to make them safer in the event of a fire.

The fire service said this work is now complete.

READ MORE: Enforcement action against Vivid relates to 85 homes in Oakridge

However, further enforcement notices could be issued to other landlords and building owners across the borough as the fire service checks similar style apartment blocks.

HIWFRS issued enforcement notices to Unity Place, in Lime Tree Way, Chineham in November 2023.

The Gazette has asked the fire service if these enforcement notices were in relation to checks carried out following the Oakridge Road fire.

We also asked how many buildings are being checked and whether this is ongoing or if the checks are now complete. 

SEE ALSO: Oakridge residents say they have 'no idea' what is going on

The fire service has not yet responded.

Residents in Oakridge previously told the Gazette they had ‘no idea’ what the safety works involved and accused Vivid of failing to keep them properly informed.

Borough councillors also raised concerns regarding communication at a meeting.

Cllr Jay Ganesh, a Conservative councillor for Sherborne St John and Rooksdown, asked leader of the borough council Cllr Paul Harvey: “In light of the recent fire incident in your ward, Oakridge and subsequent enforcement notices, what measures is the council taking to ensure housing associations like Vivid are maintaining clear and timely communication with residents regarding safety upgrades and fire prevention measures?

“Additionally, how is the council working to guarantee that these critical safety works are conducted promptly and effectively across the borough?”

He added: “How will you ensure such lapses in communication and safety measures are not repeated to guarantee the safety and peace of mind of all the residents, not just within your ward but all around the borough in the future?”

Cllr Harvey responded to say: “The residents of Oakridge village want to know they’re safe. They wanted to know that immediately after the fire and have continued to seek assurance.

READ ALSO: Vivid asked to make homes safe after major fire in Oakridge

“The investigations that have been conducted have now led to enforcement notices. To be clear, Vivid, as the responsible authority, have responded to the points raised in the enforcement notices issued by the fire brigade.”

He said the chief executive of Vivid said all residents had been written to with updates on the work.

Regarding possible wider issues across the borough, Cllr Harvey said: “The fire service provide support and advice to building owners and whether further fire prevention measures are needed.

"They will serve enforcement notices and monitor the progress of this work. We are assured that they undertake this work and communicate with the responsible authorities.”

He added: “I’m confident that the fire brigade take their role and implement that role with other owners of other buildings across the borough and were they to issue enforcement notices, where they were to issue future notices to building owners, landlords and so on… I would perceive it would be our role as the local authority to be working partnership with them to ensure those enforcement notices were fulfilled.”

HIWFRS and Vivid have been asked for further information.