/Decaying corpse found at human warehouse

Decaying corpse found at human warehouse

Templefields House in Harlow

Image caption

Former staff have described discovering bodies at Templefields House in Harlow

A cleaner at a troubled former office block used to house the homeless has revealed she and other staff discovered a “weeks-old corpse” in a room.

Tania resigned from her job after being asked to clean the room where the man’s body was discovered in June 2019.

An investigation by BBC East and Panorama found evidence security staff had “lost control” at Templefields House in Harlow, Essex.

The building was described as a “human warehouse” by one tenant.

The BBC found hundreds of families were being rehoused by London boroughs in office blocks and industrial estates in Harlow, often living next to drug addicts and ex-prisoners.

Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, described the practice as “social cleansing”.

Essex Police confirmed the death, which is not being treated as suspicious. The identity of the dead man was not disclosed.

Image caption

Residents have complained of being isolated and surrounded by warehousing and business centres

Tania, who did not want her surnamed used, became an employee of the landlord Caridon, with her partner Matt who became head of security at Templefields, after they had lived at the block as tenants.

“It was the smell hit you before you even opened the door. And there were flies everywhere. It was just awful,” she said.

“He’d been there for five or six weeks. It was decomposed.”

‘Break the mould’

The couple said a number of people had taken their own lives during the time they lived and worked there.

Current staff also told an undercover BBC reporter about other tenants who had died.

The reporter was told “we’ve cleaned a dead man’s room” and “we found him hanging”, “had to wait for the body bag. Had to stand in the hallway to make sure no-one come in or while he was cleared”.

Management at the building were concerned with getting the room cleaned and letting it out to a new tenant, Tania said.

“I was just in shock, complete shock, but it was more of a concern to get another room that was needed to be cleaned that day”, she told the BBC.

Image caption

Terminus House in Harlow, another former office block housing vulnerable people

Property owner Caridon said in a statement: “We break the mould in social housing and the stigma given to social tenants.

“Unlike other private developers we offer housing-related support to our tenants that are vulnerable within the community.”

It added: “We have successfully helped tenants turn their lives around with the supportive service we provide, going above and beyond for individuals.”

Original Source