Cladding removal starts on Leeds student tower

Cladding removal starts on Leeds student tower

FIRE SAFETY work on Sky Plaza in the city centre will include removal and replacement of exterior cladding.

Yorkshire Evening Post reported on the work starting at the Sky Plaza tower in the city centre, which is a students’ hall of residence run by Unite Students. The tower closed last year after the Grenfell Tower fire, ‘over concerns about its external cladding and safety procedures’, and the work to remove exterior cladding and replace it with material that ‘has passed UK building control tests’ run by the government ‘is now underway’.

Representatives of Unite stated that the work was ‘expected to be completed by the summer’, with the site ready for students in September. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) had warned last year that Sky Plaza was one of five city centre buildings in Leeds that ‘failed’ cladding combustibility tests, alongside the Park Plaza Hotel, Concept Place (another Unite) complex, Waterside Apartments and Waterloo Court Apartments.

A spokesperson for Unite Students stated: ‘Today we start work to upgrade the building and facilities at our Sky Plaza property in Leeds. Our highest priority is always the safety of our students, and this refurbishment continues to ensure Sky Plaza meets the most stringent health and safety measures whilst providing a comfortable and safe home for our students.

‘The works are expected to be completed by the summer and will include the installation of a brand new sprinkler system amongst other health and safety features.’

Leeds City Council also announced today that it would be retrofitting sprinklers in eight of its own tower blocks across the city.