28 Greenwich borough buildings still covered in lethal cladding

Deptford Creek
New Capital Quay sits on land between Deptford Creek and the River Thames

More than two dozen buildings in Greenwich are still wrapped in dangerous cladding two years after the Grenfell fire tragedy.

Hundreds of Greenwich residents continue to live in private homes lined with dangerous material blamed for the spread of the fatal blaze in North Kensington.

The borough is thought to have one of the highest numbers of dangerously lined buildings in the country.

At a scrutiny meeting on Tuesday, councillors were told that 28 buildings are affected across six developments.

Residents have been left in limbo as developers, insurers and the Government row over who foots the bills for improvement works.

Greenwich Council’s director for regeneration and growth, Pippa Hack, said the authority expects costs not to be passed down to leaseholders.

She said: “We have been working with the building owners to ensure they have appropriate mitigation measures in place and looking to discuss long term remediation plans.”

One development in Greenwich, New Capital Quay, is thought to be the biggest development in the country with the material.

Other buildings affected include the Novotel Hotel, for which work started in February.

“As New Capital Quay is on site, they have planning consent, Greenwich Square has planning consent and the Novotel hotel has planning consent,” Hack said.

“The safety of our residents is paramount. We are considered one of the boroughs that has a higher number of ACM clad buildings hence the focus and attention we have received from the fire brigade.”

The director was pressed by Greenwich West councillor Aidan Smith on whether the council could affect the speed that repairs are being carried out.

She replied: “One of the things we have been good at is applying as much pressure as we can to building owners.

“Some building owners have got fed up with us because we are so persistent but it is paying off as developers are now securing planning consent.

“I appreciate there are road blocks where owners have not been clear on whether leaseholders will be charged – we are very clear that we do not expect leaseholders to be paying.”

ACM cladding has been widely blamed for the rapid spread of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The 24-storey block in North Kensington was consumed by flames after a blaze broke out in the kitchen of a fourth-floor flat in the early hours of June 14, 2017.

In March, residents in a number of private ACM-clad tower blocks – including Northpoint in nearby Bromley – created the UK Cladding Action Group, to help raise awareness of the issue.

The government has said previously that it expects developers to “do the right thing” and take responsibility.


LDRS logoTom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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