‘Winds blowing through our draughty St Albans council windows are giving daughter, six, nightmares

The warped window frames allow winds to whistle through the house. Picture: Caroline Cox

The warped window frames allow winds to whistle through the house. Picture: Caroline Cox - Credit: Archant

A six-year-old girl will suffer icy winds whistling through her bedroom this winter while her family await repairs to their council house windows.


When Olivia Cox and her parents moved into a property in Aldwick Court in Cell Barnes Lane in 2014, they noticed all five window frames around the house had warped.

Even closed, gaps around the frames allow biting winds to blow through the house and into Olivia’s bedroom at night. Despite blankets and duvets Olivia has wolf nightmares from the howling winds and wakes up freezing.

Olivia’s pregnant mum Caroline says it has now been three years since she first complained to St Albans district council (SADC) but the problem is still not fixed.

At first SADC contractors adjusted the frames in the warped space, shifting the gap around the corners of the window.

Now SADC has offered to rebuild the structures next April, but this is shortly after Caroline’s newborn is due and will mean another cold winter for Olivia.

Caroline said: “I am extremely disappointed, dissatisfied and disgusted by [SADC’s] response and all action the team have taken this far in relation to this ongoing problem and yet another freezing cold winter passes for my child to endure the wind rushing through her bedroom, despite the fact I’ve told [them] it disturbs her sleep and gives her nightmares from the sound alone.”

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Adding: “Dragging their feet is a waste of money and it’s a waste of everyone’s time.

“It’s stressful and an annoyance and I don’t want to argue with people who are not sympathetic or empathetic to the situation.”

Head of housing for SADC, Karen Dragovic, said they have been working towards short and long term solutions: “We recognize the windows and communal doors throughout Aldwick Court have reached the end of their life and need replaced. This is a major undertaking and I am pleased to say a contractor has been chosen following the required tendering process and is due to start the job in April.”

She said they could not start work on Caroline’s flat alone because the cost would be “excessive”: “In the meantime, I have instructed a surveyor and our contractor to visit the tenant to see what can be done to eliminate draughts from her windows while she is waiting for the replacements.”