FRUSTRATED residents have been forced to pay an additional £2,000 a year after insurance premiums at their block of flats leapt from £17,000 to £100,000 overnight.

Residents of Leigh Heath Court, a 100-year-old building in London Road, Leigh have been hit with an enormous price increase after cladding led to a rise in insurance costs following the Grenfell tragedy.

As a result of the increased insurance premium, residents in the 42 flats must pay £2,300 each per year.

Sarah Watkins, 59, the director of Leigh Heath Court and spokesperson for residents, said: “We are calling for the justice of being looked at as an individual case.

“We were just put into a pot with every single tower block.

“Because the building is under 20metres, we cannot apply for government support to get the cladding removed and we need action now, it is a struggle to get anyone in the insurance market to hear our individual case.

“It is such a high premium in this economic climate, that we are unable to spend anything else on maintaining the building, it’s a lot of money for people, even though it has never been deemed unsafe and we will suffer because of this.

“It makes you fearful to see what this year’s premium could be, we haven’t been able to budget for it.”

Southend West MP, Anna Firth, has visited the flats and raised the issue in the House of Commons.

She said: “The current injustice being done to all the residents at Leigh Heath Court is outrageous and unfair.

“I have visited Leigh Heath Court and written to Ministers countless times since this issue was first raised with me and the fact, we are still awaiting a solution is quite simply, unacceptable.”

A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said: “The insurance market for buildings impacted by fire safety concerns is especially difficult due to the prevalence of issues such as combustible materials in external walls.

“However, we remain committed to devising a facility that aims to increase capacity in the market, increase competition, and thereby reduce the insurance costs for the leaseholders who are worse affected by these issues.

“Our work on this continues to be a top priority.”