Internal pipes in South Africa House in Hester's Way could be repositioned outside
INTERNAL pipes at a block of flats in Hester's Way are being replaced with an external alternative.
Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) has made a planning application to move soil pipes to the outside of South Africa House, in Princess Elizabeth Way.
The current pipes, in the block of 31 flats, are heavily corroded and they often block causing flooding.
However, the potential cost of replacing the pipes internally means the organisation wants to place them outside instead.
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John Henry, from Cheltenham Civic Society, has not seen the detailed plans, but admits to being wary.
He said: "It needs to look up to a decent standard if there are going to be pipes on the outside.
"Because it is South Africa House it needs good treatment." CBH says doing the work inside is not feasible because the families who live there would have to be re-homed at great cost while the work is done.
Chris Williams, property director at CBH said: "The existing internal pipes are ageing and are in need of replacement.
"By replacing the pipes externally there will be less inconvenience to tenants and leaseholders during the installation process or if there are any problems with blockages in the future."
The plans have received the backing of Cheltenham Borough Council officers and will go before the authority's planning committee tonight.
Council officers have said while it is "regrettable" that the new soil pipes will be located externally, on balance the cost benefits and lack of disruption to residents would outweigh the visual harm.