Safety fears have been raised over a Swindon town centre tower block after the ceiling above a busy stairwell collapsed.

Steve Lawson has highlighted several problems with Bridge House on Farnsby Street during the two years he has lived there but says these safety and security concerns have been ignored by Centrick Management.

The lift has been unusable for more than a year, vandals and drug users often enter the building through broken security doors and unlocked fire exits, and heavy rain leaks through the top floors of the building.

This Is Wiltshire: The ceiling collapsed above a Bridge House stairwellThe ceiling collapsed above a Bridge House stairwell (Image: From public)

In response, Centrick said that since it was instructed to manage the property in August 2022, it has been trying to resolve the difficulties it inherited, and it will be fixing the converted office building's lift and security doors in the near future.

Mr Lawson claims rainwater often dripped onto the stairwell that many residents use to reach their rented or owned flats, and on Wednesday, the ceiling suddenly collapsed, sending heavy debris tumbling onto the steps below.

Mr Lawson told the Adver: “This is the last straw, enough is enough.

“Someone could have been seriously injured, it’s so dangerous, I dread to think what could have happened.

“This should be a place I can call home and feel safe and secure, but instead I'm constantly living in a state of stress and worry over these issues, it’s taking a toll on me.

“The entrance system has not been secure for months, doors and shutters get damaged, the hallway near my flat has been spraypainted, trespassers sit in the stairwells confronting people, and there’s drug paraphernalia, urine, and vomit.

“It’s a constant battle to get anything resolved, they take no responsibility or accountability for anything, the conditions here have gone rapidly downhill, residents’ concerns often fall on deaf ears, and any repairs that are made don’t last long at all.

“I try to stay elsewhere as much as possible because coming back to this building is very depressing.

“The maintenance costs are so expensive, but what are they spending it on? They must have enough money to fix things but they keep saying they don’t."

This Is Wiltshire:

After Mr Lawson raised the alarm about the collapsed ceiling to this newspaper, the borough council, and his MP Robert Buckland, Mr Buckland got in touch with Centrick Management’s director and requested that the local authority carry out an urgent site visit with the fire service.

Centrick has since employed a contractor to make the ceiling safe and will instruct a surveyor to review andy defects in the underlying structure.

A spokesperson explained that the property management team has been working hard to address the issues raised by Mr Lawson and is actively engaged with residents and stakeholders to improve the development.

Centrick took charge of Bridge House after the previous management company left more than a year ago.

This Is Wiltshire:

The spokesperson added: “To create a clear, actionable, and positive route forward for Bridge House, Centrick reconciled the historic issues and refunded residents where required before creating an updated, improved site plan.

“We appreciate the concerns of residents and are working directly with all stakeholders to attend to as many items as possible in the immediate term including a £25,000 refurbishment of the lift and a new door locking systems to ensure the continued security of the building.

"We expect to be sharing the long-term plan with residents in the near future."