Remedial work to 345 buildings with cladding similar to the system used on the ill-fated Grenfell tower is yet to start, government statistics have revealed.
The high rise residential and publicly-owned buildings all have aluminium composite material [ACM] installed – ACM was used as part of a cladding system installed on the Grenfell Tower fire as part of refurbishment works. The catastrophic fire killed 72 people in 2017.
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government monthly update details the buildings still awaiting remedial works as of 31 March.
The structures affected include 112 social housing and seven publicly-owned health service buildings. The figures also account for 226 private sector buildings – of which 166 are private residential, 31 hotels and 29 student accommodation. All are yet to see any corrective work to the ACM cladding systems currently in place.
However, work to remove ACM from 89 high rise residential and publicly-owned buildings in England had been completed by the end of March, of these just over half were social housing with the rest private sector.
Earlier this month, government figures obtained by the Labour Party also revealed that nearly 40,000 are still living in privately owned tower blocks wrapped in ACM cladding.
The cladding used at Grenfell Tower was never tested, did not comply with fire regulations and was incorrectly installed, according to experts.
A report by Arup leader of fire safety engineering Barbara Lane concluded that “multiple catastrophic fire-spread routes” were created during the cladding construction at Grenfell.
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s lead counsel Richard Millett QC revealed that the manufacturer of rainscreen cladding Arconic accepted that its product “was not of limited combustibility for the purposes of the building regulations”.
Last week housing secretary James Brokenshire called on developers to speed up efforts to address the cladding concerns.
Speaking in the House of Commons: “I firmly recognise the stress, strain and anguish that so many people continue to live with as a consequence of ACM cladding on the outside of a number of these blocks.
“A growing list of companies, such as Barratt, Mace and Legal & General, are doing the right thing and taking responsibility. In addition, warranty providers have accepted claims on a number of buildings.
“I urge all owners and developers to follow the lead of those companies and step up to make sure this work is done. This is a priority for me; I know the work needs to be advanced more quickly, and I am considering all other options if it is not.”
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