Residents fed up with flat number confusion
Missing parcels, undelivered hospital appointments and wronglyaddressed letters occurs daily in one Stanhope road.
And now the residents are calling for action to stop it happening after being inconvenienced by problematic post for three years.
The issues started in 2011 when three blocks of flats – called Chilham, Whitfield and Pembury House – were built in Kilndown Close, replacing two previous blocks.
There are nine flats in each block, but rather than continuing with the street numbers, the apartments were numbered one to nine.
This means along with the original properties in the close there are now four number ones, four number twos and so on, all the way to number nine.
Despite being called Chilham, Whitfield and Pembury House, and having different postcodes to the houses, letters and packages Margaret Thorn, Linda Shephard, Kevin Gregory and Stella Frater are still being mixed up.
Linda Shephard, 62 and Kevin Gregory, 52, live at 7 Kilndown Close and say the problems have resulted in missing hospital appointments and losing benefits.
Mrs Shephard said: “When they first put the flats up we had other people’s bank statements turning up, insurance details, all kinds of private documents. We thought it would stop.”
Mrs Shephard has contacted Ward member for Stanhope, Cllr Brendan Chilton (Lab) said: ”This has been a problem which has caused enormous difficulties for residents in Kilndown Close.
“I have been working with residents and pressing the council for this to be resolved for over a year now.
“I hope the council will now listen to me and residents and work to find a solution to this unsatisfactory position.” Royal Mail, Ashford Borough Council, MP Damian Green and Moat Housing over the issues, but says it was to little effect.
She adds: “A lot of the letters meant for the flats have our postcodes on them.
“Or they don’t include the block names in the address.
“We’ve had birthday cards with money in them going missing too. Also, Kevin was sent a medical so that he could receive his Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
“However, he never received the letter. Therefore his money was stopped for two months.
“When he investigated they said it was because he had ignored the letter, but he never received it. So now, the benefit team have to check he receives his post.”
Neighbour Margaret Thorn, 69, who lives at number 8, says she regularly receives post that isn’t addressed to her. She said: “It is very frustrating. “I either put them back in the post box with ‘unknown at this address’ written on them, or in the past I have taken them to the flats. But I’m not well enough to keep taking them over to the flats.”
Last year, both Royal Mail and Ashford Borough Council wrote to all residents in the close advising them to use their full postal address, including flat number, house name, road name and postcode in all correspondence to enable their mail to be delivered efficiently.
Pensioner Stella Frater, 78, of 3 Kilndown Close, has had takeaways delivered to her house late at night and even received a credit card through the post, and a PIN three days later.
She said: “My bank statements weren’t delivered for two months. In the end I asked for my statements to go to my daughter’s home.
“This could be sorted in minutes.
“All the flats have their own postcodes, so if they were used, the problem would be solved.
“Or if they made sure the block names were included in the addresses, the letters would go to the right homes.
“But I am not prepared to walk over there delivering letters.”
Mrs Shephard added: “We want the council to rename the part of the road that the flats are on. That is the answer.
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“Then the flats wouldn’t be in Kilndown Close.”
Dean Woolf, from Moat Housing, said: “We are not aware of any mailing discrepancies, but the local Moat team is available to speak with residents to clear up any issues, should they arise. Residents can call their neighbourhood office on 01233 647 396.”