Following the Grenfell tower fire last year, we have redoubled our efforts in ensuring all our buildings meet the highest safety standards. I set up a fire safety taskforce which is focused on checking the 48 buildings over six storeys that we own, completing extensive surveys and carrying out any necessary works to keep residents safe. We have already assessed all of our buildings above ten storeys and have started remedial works for those building where it’s necessary.
Dame Judith Hackitt, who carried out an independent review of building regulations and fire safety, published her final report on 17 May. We support her recommendations and welcome a new regulatory framework for high risk residential properties, as well as the proposed new approach to risk management for these properties.
Work is progressing well to replace the ACM cladding at Bolanachi in Bermondsey Spa. Following advice from the Government, we are replacing the cladding with a safer alternative which will have a similar appearance to what is on the building now. We expect that this project will be completed by the end of the year.
Although the cladding at Gosport is not ACM, we have decided to remove and replace it to ensure the safety of our residents.
In order to get to this stage we have had to work with planners and building control to ensure that the replacement materials are the right ones. We have then needed to source the materials and find qualified contractors to install it. Whilst this process has been ongoing, we have put in mitigating measures to these buildings, such as a waking watch and/or changing the evacuation policy, to ensure residents’ safety. (We will not be passing the cost of this watch on to residents.)
New Capital Quay
Whilst we have residents at New Capital Quay in Greenwich, we do not own the buildings. We understand that the building’s insurer NHBC will be covering the cost of removing and replacing the ACM cladding, at no cost to our residents. We welcome this decision and are looking forward to seeing the plans for the project.
Sharing fire risk assessments
We have been working for some time on how best to give residents a full picture of all aspects of the safety of their high rise buildings in an accessible way and will make this information available as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about our fire safety task force or its work, please email ResidentFireSafety@hyde-housing.co.uk
Group Chief Executive