June 26, 2017

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Grenfell fire: Tests reveal combustible cladding on other high-rises

Safety tests ordered by the Government following the Grenfell Tower fire have revealed 11 residential high-rise buildings in eight local authority areas have been found to be covered in combustible cladding.

It is understood the buildings with the combustible materials are spread across localities including Manchester and Plymouth.

The news comes as tests are being carried out on around 600 high rises across England.

Cladding is thought to have contributed to the rapid spread of fire at Grenfell Tower, in which at least 79 people are believed to have died.


Camden Council has decided to strip cladding from five towers at the Chalcots Estate in Swiss Cottage after polyethylene core aluminium panels were found.

Until now, safety fears over cladding have centred on council high rises, but concerns appear to reach beyond the housing sector.

Premier Inn has told BBC Newsnight that cladding on its hotels in Maidenhead, Brentford and Tottenham did not appear to comply with government guidance for tall buildings – although it did appear to be a less flammable type than that used at Grenfell Tower.

Theresa May

Updating the Commons on the Grenfell crisis, Prime Minister Theresa May, said: “[I was] informed a number of these test have come back as combustible. The relevant local authorities and fire services have been informed.

“As I speak they are taking all possible steps to ensure buildings are safe and to inform affected residents.”

She added the Government could test over 100 buildings a day and results would be available in hours.

“I urge any landlord who owns any building of this kind to send samples for testing as soon as possible. Any results will be communicated immediately to local authorities and local fire services.

“Landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe buildings and where they cannot do that we expect alternative accommodation to be provided.”

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