Evacuated residents of tower block in Bristol won’t return for at least ‘two to three weeks’

Residents of a Bristol tower block that was evacuated over fears it was unsafe have been told they cannot return for at least two to three weeks.

Hundreds of people were left homeless overnight on November 14 after the 16-storey Barton House complex was thought to be in danger of collapsing.

They have now been told that due to the need to complete “complex and intrusive building search work”, the households are currently unable to return while officers continue to identify suitable temporary accommodation.

Some residents have stayed with friends and family, while others have been placed in hotels or a “rest center” at City Hall.

Residents cannot return for at least two to three weeks


Talking to you The independent, Fartun Abdulkdir said she arrived at her 16th-floor apartment with her two-year-old child to find people leaving. “It was scary, people were running out. I went in and got a few items to leave quickly. I then went to a nearby aid center where they took me to a hotel.

“We just want to be safe and go home.”

Signs have now been put up around the tower block, while access remains for residents to collect essential items.

Inside Barton House, which is the oldest of the council's high-rise blocks

(Alex Ross)

The evacuation was prompted by a structural problem discovered in three of the 98 flats with the building considered to be at risk in the event of fire, explosion or major impact, Bristol City Council said.

Mayor Marvin Rees said the tower block may not have been built to the specifications set out in its design, with investigations showing lower fire resistance and less concrete cover on the floors.

In an update issued by Bristol City Council on November 19, the authority said the complex search meant “we do not expect households to be able to return to their flats for the next two to three weeks”.

A spokesman added: “Throughout this week, officers have been supporting residents to leave Barton House and move into temporary hotel accommodation or stay with friends and family. We remain very grateful to the residents of Barton House for their patience and understanding during this difficult time.

“Officers and hotel staff continue to support residents over the weekend. Daily updates are sent to residents via email, text messages and shared by officers in person. Security remains in place at Barton House to support access for those who need to gather essential items.”