The future of the Milton Keynes Council's tallest tower block is in jeopardy due to major fears for residents' safety.
The 18-storey high Mellish Court in Bletchley is shedding lumps of concrete, which are crashing down onto balconies used by the 136 families who live there.
There is also a danger they will fall on people on the ground or passers by.
Residents have been ordered not to use their balconies and areas surrounding the building have been fenced off while engineers assess the problem today.
The concrete is believed to be coming from the ceiling of balconies at the top of Mellish Court. MK Council refer to the lumps as “small” but the Citizen has seen photos of one hefty lump that was around 18 inches long.
Ironically it smashed down on a young female resident's balcony10 months ago, and she has spent months complaining to the council about the safety risk. But she claims her complaints were ignored.
However, this week every resident in the building has suddenly received a letter from MK Council warning them not to step out onto their balconies, even to collect items they may have left out there.
They are allowed to use the ground floor entrance doors, but other areas, including the communal bins, are out of bounds.
The council is so concerned that it has sent contractors out to change the locks on the balcony doors in every flat – and it is understood tenants or owners will not be given keys.
The council's cabinet member for housing, Nigel Long, told the Citizen today: “Essentially there are major concerns about the balconies being safe... I am deeply concerned about this danger to residents of this block of flats. I would urge residents to follow the advice in the letter sent to them.”
Councillor Long is holding a public meeting at 6pm on Thursday about the problem. It will be at the Frank Moran Centre, which is opposite Mellish Court.
He added: “The scale of the problem needs to be made clear and we need a debate on the future of the flats. I am committed to finding the resources to deal with the problems identified. Residents must be safe in their homes.”