Work begins to remove cladding on high-rise blocks in Salford

Salford City Council has announced that cladding is to be removed from its high rise homes in Pendleton in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Salford City Council has announced that cladding is to be removed from its high rise homes in Pendleton in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
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Work has begun to remove cladding on nine high-rise blocks in Pendleton, the City Mayor of Salford has said.

READ MORE - Angry tenants defy evacuation order as 34 blocks fail fire tests

Salford City Council has announced that cladding is to be removed from its high rise homes in Pendleton in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Salford City Council has announced that cladding is to be removed from its high rise homes in Pendleton in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Residents were told on Friday that aluminium composite cladding would be removed in advance of government combustibility test results.

The results of the tests have not yet been made public but cladding is being removed from Thorn Court.

Cladding will also be removed from Beech Court, Whitebeam Court, Malus Court, Salix Court, Spruce Court, Holm Court, Hornbeam Court and Plane Court, Salford City Council said.

Tenants will not need to move out while the work takes place on the blocks which are managed by Pendleton Together.

READ MORE - Around 200 residents refuse to leave homes despite fire fears

Mayor Paul Dennett said: “I assured local residents on Friday that their safety came first and that work would begin as quickly as possible.

“I am pleased to confirm that contractors have started the works.

“This is the right thing to do. I said once we had made the decision we would get on with removing the cladding. We haven’t waited around and we’re getting on with it straight away.”

Mr Dennett added: “Additional fire safety measures put in place by Pendleton Together will remain until the cladding is removed.

“This includes the new fire evacuation procedures, extra support from local housing staff and 24/7 patrols on each block.

“We will also continue to work with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to ensure our housing continues to meet fire safety standards, and we will respond to any recommendations that emerge from the Grenfell Tower investigation.”

Steve Close, chief executive of Pendleton Together’s parent company Together Housing, said meetings with residents were held during the weekend to explain what was happening and to reassure them of their safety.

Which buildings have Grenfell Tower-style cladding?

A national safety operation is under way to identify buildings with cladding like that used on Grenfell Tower.

So far, the Government has received samples from 60 high-rise buildings in 25 local authority areas where the cladding has failed safety tests.

Here are some of the buildings where problem cladding has been identified:

:: London

Chalcots Estate, Swiss Cottage - Camden Council evacuated four of five tower blocks after firefighters said they could not guarantee the safety of the buildings due to concerns over fire doors, gas pipes and insulation, combined with external cladding.

Three towers in Barnet, north-east London - Found to have similar rain screen panels on their cladding as Grenfell Tower, which are to be removed. The Granville Point, Harpenmead Point and Templemead Point blocks were reclad in 2012, Barnet Council said. On Friday, a spokesman confirmed the cladding would come down as a “precaution”.

Tower Hamlets Council said cladding on Denning Point tower block “did not fully comply with the requirements” of the safety tests. The building is covered by the fire retardant version of the aluminium composite material (ACM) panels, according to a joint statement from the council and owners EastendHomes but, after an inspection with London Fire Brigade, a 24/7 fire patrol has been introduced to inspect communal areas through the night.

Rivers Apartments, in Tottenham - Newlon Housing Trust confirmed the 22-storey block has the same cladding reportedly used on Grenfell Tower. But it said, after an “extensive safety audit”, London Fire Brigade confirmed the tower block would be considered a “low fire risk” after modifications and technical clarifications.

Braithwaite House, Islington - Islington Council said cladding was to be removed from one of eight blocks tested after it was found to have ACM.

Test results from Harvist Estate and Brunswick Estate are yet to be returned, a spokesman said.

Ferrier Point tower in Newham, east London - one of three buildings found to have cladding panels with ACM in the borough, it is understood.

Refurbishment on the building, including cladding, was overseen by Rydon, the company involved in the refit of Grenfell Tower. The insulation behind the cladding was said to be highly fire-resistant Rockwool Duoslab.

Rydon did not respond to calls and emails from the Press Association requesting comment.

Clements Court, Hounslow - Cladding on the tower failed the fire-safety test and will be removed “as soon as possible”, the borough’s council said. A fire watch patrol will be set up by the authority and safety tests will be carried out on homes.

Castlemaine Tower in Battersea - Wandsworth Council announced on Saturday that external cladding, which did not meet current fire safety standards, would be removed from the block as quickly as possible. The London Fire Brigade (LFB) concluded the building was safe for residents following an “exhaustive” inspection of the building, a council spokesman said. The local authority said more than 100 high-rise housing blocks in Wandsworth are to be fitted with sprinkler systems, while it was awaiting tests from Sudbury House on Saturday. Both blocks are being monitored by fire marshals 24 hours a day.

The Government said the boroughs of Brent and Lambeth each had one building that has failed cladding tests.

:: Manchester

Village 135 development, Wythenshawe - Wythenshawe Community Housing Group said 78 panels were being removed from a small area of the overall development.

A total of four buildings in the city have failed cladding tests, according to Government data.

:: Plymouth

Mount Wise Tower Estate - Plymouth Community Homes said it will be removing the combustible elements of cladding from the three 16-storey blocks as soon as possible.

:: Salford

Work has begun to remove cladding on nine high-rise blocks in Pendleton, the City Mayor of Salford has said. Residents were told on Friday that aluminium composite cladding would be removed in advance of government combustibility test results. The results of the tests have not yet been made public but cladding is being removed from Thorn Court. Cladding will also be removed from Beech Court, Whitebeam Court, Malus Court, Salix Court, Spruce Court, Holm Court, Hornbeam Court and Plane Court, Salford City Council said. Tenants will not need to move out while the work takes place on the blocks which are managed by Pendleton Together.

:: Sheffield

Harold Lambert Court in the Park Hill area of the city is being checked by management firm Together Housing, with cladding samples sent for analysis.

:: Halifax

Three blocks in Lower Mixenden, a village outside Halifax, are being checked by independent contractors. Together Housing, which manages Jumples Court, Mixenden Court and Wheatley Court, is submitting samples of the cladding but an initial visual inspection suggests it is not the same type as that used on Grenfell Tower.

:: Portsmouth

Cladding at two high-rise buildings - Horatia House and Leamington House - is being removed as a precaution after tests revealed a fire risk, Portsmouth City Council said. The council’s deputy leader Luke Stubbs said staff would be present in the two buildings “24 hours a day, for as long as necessary”.

:: Liverpool

One Vision Housing said it had decided to remove cladding from Cygnet House and Wren House in Bootle as a precaution, following Government tests. In a statement, the social housing provider said results showed “certain elements of the cladding” on Cygnet House and Wren House in the Bootle area of the city, “whilst meeting building regulations does not meet the latest DCLG test criteria”. “As a precautionary measure to ensure the continued safety of our tenants, One Vision Housing have taken the decision to remove the cladding from the two blocks with immediate effect, to allow for further investigations,” it added.

:: Doncaster

Silverwood House - Doncaster Council said work will start on Monday to remove decorative window capping on the external stairwell windows as a precautionary measure, following tests. “The assessment show that the capping was found to have some fire retardant properties - fire retardant means it slows fire down, but this is not as good as being fire resistant, which is the best standard,” a statement on its website said. The council stated that a safety review was conducted on all nine of its high-rise blocks of flats. “As a result of this work tests confirm that the cladding system used on all Doncaster’s high-rise blocks is an External Wall Insulation (EWI) render system which is not the same as was used at Grenfell Tower, and is fire resistant and meets the necessary safety,” the statement added.

:: Stockton-on-Tees

Three buildings have failed tests.

:: Norwich

One building has failed tests.

:: Sunderland

Five buildings have failed tests.