600 high-rise blocks ‘could have same cladding as Grenfell Tower’

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Hundreds of tower blocks could be covered in similar cladding to Glenfell Tower, councils have estimated.

So far tests in England Camden council confirmed cladding used on its Chalcots Estate was to be removed after testing raised concerns about its safety.

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London.  Picture; PA

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London. Picture; PA

Councillor Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, said: “The new results from the laboratory show that the outer cladding panels themselves are made up of aluminium panels with a polyethylene core.

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“Therefore, the panels that were fitted were not to the standard that we had commissioned. In light of this, we will be informing the contractor that we will be taking urgent legal advice.

“Whilst we are clear that our cladding design and insulation significantly differs to that at Grenfell Tower, the external cladding panels did not satisfy our independent laboratory testing or the high standards we set for contractors.

Theresa May making a statement regarding the Grenfell Tower fire in the House of Commons Picture; Getty

Theresa May making a statement regarding the Grenfell Tower fire in the House of Commons Picture; Getty

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“Camden Council has decided it will immediately begin preparing to remove these external cladding panels from the five tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate.

“Camden Council will do whatever it takes to ensure our residents are reassured about the safety of their homes.”

have revealed that combustible cladding has been found on at least three tower blocks across the UK, the Government has said.

Downing Street said English councils estimated that 600 high-rise buildings used similar cladding to the block in west London which was the scene of tragedy last week.

Councils were told to provide the Government with details of the cladding used on high-rises by Monday and three samples were found to be combustible after tests on a “small number” of specimens.

Flammable panelling on the outside of Grenfell Tower is suspected to have aided the rapid spread of last week’s blaze, trapping dozens inside.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is coordinating the process and facilities allow for 100 samples a day to be tested.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “So far, three samples have been found to be combustible.”

She added: “In terms of how many buildings and how many homes have this type of cladding, the estimate provided to us by councils is that there are approximately 600 high-rise buildings with similar cladding.

“We are in touch with all the local authorities to encourage them to urgently send us the samples and then we will carry out the checks that we need to see where we are with that.”

In blocks where the cladding is found to be combustible “we will do a further test to make sure the building is safe” and residents could be rehomed.

“Obviously nobody will be living in buildings that are unsafe, they will be rehoused if they need to be and landlords will be asked to provide alternative accommodation where that’s possible,” the spokeswoman said.