Student flats cladding removal delayed

Student flats cladding removal delayed

ST JAMES’ Point in Newcastle city centre has still not had its unsafe cladding removed, with work not set to begin until July or conclude until August 2020.

BBC News reported on the wait for removal of the cladding on the 11 storey block, which was originally due to have started ‘by the end of 2018’, with building owner Student Roost stating that removal work ‘will not begin until July’ and that it expects work to ‘be completed by August next year’.

The works had been rescheduled to ‘ensure minimal impact’ on students, it added, with a spokesperson commenting that ‘we continue to work very closely with the local authorities and fire service in Newcastle on a programme that is part of a comprehensive single fire strategy’. This would include ‘state-of-the-art’ fire alarms alongside sprinkler systems and dedicated firefighter lifts.

In response, Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah said that the council should have the power to enforce cladding replacement work, stating: ‘My understanding, from writing to the fire service, was that by July 2019 there would be no cladding left. The real issue here is whether the fire service recommendations are being followed as quickly as they need to be and it seems to be initially in this case that they're not’