Residents who were evacuated from their homes at Sarah Robinson House, Queen Street, Portsea, on Wednesday, 6 September are being offered alternative accommodation until at least Tuesday next week by gas network company SGN with support from Portsmouth City Council, as SGN has issued an update on the gas leak.

Gas supplier SGN’s update states:

“Our engineers have identified the gas leak at Sarah Robinson House and have made safe, however, high gas readings inside the building are preventing us from allowing residents to return home.

We’re working as hard as possible to fully ventilate the building, and we’ll be using specialist equipment throughout the weekend to extract all gas.

As soon as our engineers are satisfied there are no gas readings in the building, and the electricity supply has been reinstated and tested, residents will be allowed to reoccupy their homes and we will carry out safety checks to each individual property. At the moment, we’re aiming for residents begin returning home on Tuesday next week.

To support you whilst you are out of your home, we are providing hot food vouchers and supermarket vouchers. To redeem these, please speak to a welfare centre representative at the above address or contact number.

We understand it’s difficult for people to be out of their homes and we’re sorry for the inconvenience this is causing. Your safety is our number one priority, and we’d like to assure everyone that our engineers are working as hard as possible to resolve the situation.

Since no-one is able to enter the building while safety work is carried out, council housing officers and the community safety team from SGN will call every resident of Sarah Robinson House today and over the weekend to make sure they have everything they need, including access to medication and further support for more vulnerable members of the community.

John Pounds Centre will no longer be used as an emergency rest centre for sleeping, but will remain open over the weekend as a community hub, with light refreshments available and activities for children. All residents will receive vouchers for food and clothing.

Cllr Darren Sanders, Cabinet Member for Housing and Tackling Homelessness said: “I want to thank our residents for their understanding as we work to make Sarah Robinson House safe for everyone. This is a serious safety issue and we appreciate how unsettling the evacuation is and the upheaval it has caused.”

SGN is also offering some allocated time slots for residents to collect urgent essential belongings from their home tomorrow morning (Saturday 9 September). To discuss arranging a time slot, please contact a council representative at the welfare centre.

Any residents of Sarah Robinson House, who haven’t spoken to the housing team, are encouraged to call 023 9260 6200

You can view the statement from SGN on their website – Evacuation: Sarah Robinson House, Portsmouth | SGN Your gas. Our network.