RESIDENTS have finally moved into apartments in Gloucester that have been empty for eight years following flood damage.
The four flats at Roman Quay House were extensively damaged in 2006 when following torrential rain the sewers burst and flooded the area up to a metre high.
Since the ground floor flats at the Jephson Homes property were damaged they remained vacant for years.
Now, following major works to the drains in Gloucester by Severn Trent, the properties have been brought back into use.
The two one-bedroom flats and two studio flats have been completely refurbished, with new windows, kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems, as well as extra insulation and an improved foyer and door entry system.
The first residents to move in included James Williams and his partner Sara Mann. The couple, who are both aged 22, have set up their first home together in one of the remodelled one-bedroom flats.
James said: “The flat is better than I had hoped it would be. It’s bigger than I thought it was going to be and I’m really pleased with it.
“Jephson have been great and I hope we’ll be very happy living here.”
The floods in 2006 were not the first time that the flats at Roman Quay House had been subject to this type of damage, so the housing association decided it was best for residents to only move people back in when there was no chance of flooding and major works had been completed.
Severn Trent carried out major improvement works to the drains and sewers in the city, including a dramatic redesign of the sewage system.
The improvement works, completed in July 2012, helped to secure the flats at Roman Quay House from the threat of further flooding.
At the time of the flooding, one of the four flats was vacant.
Tenants from the other three properties were all found alternative accommodation either on higher floors in Roman Quay House or in properties nearby.
A spokesman for the housing association said: “Jephson decided not to let the flats until they were satisfied that they would not be damaged again by flood water.
“They did not want to put tenants at risk of further disruption. These improvement works helped to secure the flats at Roman Quay House from the threat of further flooding.”