Cladding at Woodford Green estate will be ‘urgently upgraded’ despite its difference from Grenfell Tower’s
PUBLISHED: 17:32 23 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:32 23 June 2017
The cladding at the Orchard Estate is to be “upgraded as a matter of urgency”, even though tests show it is different to Grenfell Tower’s.
Redbridge Council took the decision to change part of the insulation panelling today, and letters from council leader Councillor Jas Athwal were hand delivered to residents at the flats off Broadmead Road, Woodford Green.
It is thought the plastic cladding at the north Kensington tower block caused last week’s fire to turn into an inferno, which emergency services believe claimed 79 lives.
Police are now investigating manslaughter charges after they found Grenfell’s cladding failed safety tests.
After the tragic incident Redbridge Council reviewed the fire safety arrangements in all of the 18 high rises within the borough.
Officers found that none had the same flammable cladding that was used at Grenfell, however part of the Orchard Estate’s insulation, installed in the 1990s, was cause for concern.
In his letter, Councillor Athwal wrote: “There are two types of cladding on Orchard, one has been determined to be fine; the other is solid aluminium panelling, but we have taken the decision to upgrade this as a matter of urgency.
“A contractor has already visited your estate and work will begin on this as soon as possible.”
A council spokeswoman said in a statement: “The safety of our residents and our housing blocks is of critical importance to us as a council and our staff regularly carry out Fire Risk Assessments on all of our housing.”
The council has also revealed it is investigating options to install sprinkler systems and smoke alarms in the communal areas of all blocks more than five storeys high.
The spokeswoman added: “We will also be following any additional safety guidance from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the London Fire Brigade (LFB).
“Our Housing department has met with the LFB Commander to outline the action we have taken and we will continue to work together closely to ensure the safety of our residents.”
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