More private blocks have combustible cladding

More private blocks have combustible cladding

THE LATEST statistics from the Home Office also revealed that only 23 of 197 high rises have ‘solved [the] risk’ from having had combustible cladding.

Building reported on the statistics, which revealed that three further privately owned high rises have been discovered to have combustible cladding, with only 23 of the 197 privately owned buildings found to have aluminium composite material (ACM) having been fixed since the Grenfell Tower fire over two and a half years ago.

Altogether – taking into account social and private housing blocks - 135 ACM clad towers have completed remediation works, an increase of eight since the previous update, with the ‘vast majority’ social housing or student accommodation. Privately owned blocks are said to be ‘lagging far behind’ social housing, with ‘more than two-fifths’ of the latter blocks and ‘two-thirds’ of student blocks having replaced combustible cladding.

Only 12% of privately owned blocks so far have ‘been made safe’, and 75 of the 76 buildings altogether that have ‘no plan[s]’ for ACM removal yet are privately owned. Last month’s data found that 10 further blocks had been discovered to have combustible ACM cladding, while the number of ACM clad buildings awaiting remediation work ‘has risen by one’ due to 10 further such buildings being identified.

In total – as of December 2019 - 319 of 446 buildings with ACM ‘are still awaiting remediation’, with all 10 newly identified buildings privately owned – and their discovery meant that the completion of works on nine other blocks was ‘eclipsed’ in the month before. As a consequence, the number of blocks awaiting completion was one higher than previously.

93 of 159 social blocks with ACM were ‘still outstanding’ in terms of cladding removal work, while with a June 2020 deadline for private blocks ‘just’ 19 of 194 had seen work completed. Of the private blocks with cladding to be removed, 148 had ‘yet to start’ works, with only two having undertaken the process of applying for government funding, and only one was ‘currently in a position to actually draw down the cash’.

Inside Housing stated that blocks with cladding remaining contain an estimated 23,700 flats, so ‘upwards of 50,000 people’ are ‘likely to still live’ in buildings with combustible cladding, and there are thought to be ‘thousands – perhaps tens of thousands’ of medium rise buildings with ‘other forms’ of combustible cladding that are ‘currently excluded’ from the government’s current plans for remediation. Blocks in question are ‘primarily concentrated’ in London and the north west, specifically Greater Manchester.