Major improvement works will be carried out at an estate to ensure council tenants’ homes meet a national housing standard.

The £11.3 million programme will replace outdated bathroom pods with modern facilities in properties on the Noel Park Estate in Wood Green.

Built in the 1970s, the pods are well beyond their useful life, with defects including structural movement, dampness and asbestos in the wall panels, according to a council report.

Properties will also have kitchens, windows and roofs replaced, as well as undergoing rewiring and safety works.

It is designed to bring the homes up to the Decent Homes Standard, which was introduced by the Government in 2000 to ensure public sector homes have modern facilities and services.

Some of the properties on the Noel Park Estate are occupied by council tenants, while others are occupied by both tenants and leaseholders.

At a council meeting in November, Noel Park resident Sarah Klimkiw warned many leaseholders were facing “ruinous” repair bills for the improvement works – some totalling more than £100,000.

READ MORE: ‘Ruinous’ repair bills over £100,000 ‘could force people out of homes’

On Tuesday (January 19), Haringey’s cabinet agreed for the work to be carried out in two phases. The first phase will improve the homes occupied solely by council tenants. Phase two, involving the leaseholder properties, will be delayed to allow further consultation with residents.

During the meeting, Cllr Julia Ogiehor (Lib Dem, Muswell Hill) asked if spending £855,000 on professional fees – more than 7.5 per cent of the contract sum – represented value for money for the council.

Robbie Erbmann, the council’s assistant director for housing, said the fees were “slightly lower than you would see in other London boroughs”. He added that the figure consisted of legal fees, fees for project management and other charges.

Cllr Ogiehor said the average cost to the council would be £97,000 per property and asked why the figure had risen “so dramatically” compared to estimates given in previous years.

Mr Erbmann said the reason figures quoted by the council in 2014 were lower was because the work would have involved integrating the bathrooms within the properties, making the homes “very, very small” and lowering their value. “We do feel now this would be the wrong approach,” he added.

The housing officer said the improvements were “very significant works – and while the costs are high, we do think they are value for money”.

Council leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor (Labour, Bruce Grove) also pointed out there had been a “substantial change in the way we deal with asbestos”. “One of the most significant costs will be about the safe removal of asbestos,” he explained.

Cllr Ejiofor said: “Once all the work is completed, more than 240 Haringey households will be living in transformed homes – a significant achievement in these challenging times.”