Private tower cladding removal ‘stalls’

Private tower cladding removal ‘stalls’

ACCORDING TO government statistics, only two new projects ‘got under way’ in a month to remove flammable cladding from privately owned buildings, while only a quarter have plans in place.

Construction News and Inside Housing reported on the slow uptake and process for removing combustible cladding from private sector towers, with only two new projects said to have ‘got under way’ in the four weeks up to 12 July. Of all privately owned buildings with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, 23 had started the process of removing cladding by 12 July, ‘only two more’ than by 14 June.

In addition, four further such buildings with ACM cladding had been identified in that time period, taking the total up to 301, while 74% of buildings with ACM ‘having not informed’ the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) of ‘any plans to remove the cladding’, a small fall from 76% a month before. Around 100 buildings’ status in terms of cladding, the MHCLG added, was ‘still to be confirmed’, with between 3 to 5% of these expected to have ACM cladding.

Inside Housing  added meanwhile that only 77 of the 301 private sector buildings had provided MHCLG with plans of remediation work, with the ministry also pointing out that while 15 social housing buildings had been said to have completed work, this had been revised down to 13 after ‘further investigation which identified that two buildings had not been signed off by their local authority’s building control team’.

A spokesperson for MHCLG said: ‘Over 70% of social housing buildings with unsafe cladding have started remediation. We have also taken action in the private sector to ensure this complex work happens as quickly as possible. Removing and replacing unsafe cladding must be done properly and will take time. In the meantime the fire and rescue services are working with building owners and interim safety measures are already in place to ensure residents are safe now.’