Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has named a handful of landlords who have not removed combustible materials from buildings as anger mounts over the national cladding crisis
Yesterday (24 January) Jenrick announced five ‘corporates’ who do not have plans in place to strip Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) from their buildings, despite indicating to the housing ministry they are responsible for its removal.
The companies named by the government are Adriatic Land 3 Limited, Chaplair Limited, Grangewalk Developments Limited, RMB 102 Limited and STG Management (London) Limited.
The government said its published list was restricted to companies whereby naming them did not allow identification of the individual block in question, and where the freeholder had not started tendering for remediation works.
According to reports, Adriatic Land 3 Limited is the freeholder for Skyline Central tower block in Manchester, where leaseholders were told they would have to pay for removal of High Pressure Laminate (HPL) cladding.
However HomeGroup, acting on behalf of Adriatic Land, confirmed the high-rise city centre scheme is not one of the schemes being referred to by Jenrick.
A HomeGroup spokesperson said it was ’disappointed and surprised’ that the Government has chosen to publish this inaccurate statement and argued it had applied to the government’s cladding fund for the remediation costs.
There is very little information either about the companies online and critics have questioned how effective the government’s ‘naming and shaming’ approach will be.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Jenrick said he has asked local authorities to start taking enforcement action against the companies, which he described as ’egregious’.
The government has identified 143 private residential buildings still wrapped in ACM cladding more than two and a half years after the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.
However, yesterday new figures emerged showing that the scale of the crisis is far wider when other combustible materials, such as HPL panels or timber, are considered, and could affect more than half a million people in the UK.
The figures came from analysis by the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), which represents the largest property managers in the country.
The group is calling for a multibillion-pound, government-backed fund to be established so that these buildings can be made safe as soon as possible.
The letter read: ’The government deserves credit for funding Grenfell-style ACM cladding remediation, but the problem is much wider than this and that funding doesn’t go far enough. The list of unsafe materials and hidden safety defects that were never identified when these buildings were signed off, is growing by the day’.
One such scheme is A2 Dominion’s City Wharf in Islington, where residents have been told the cladding on the timber balconies needs to be removed but say they have been given no information on who will pay for it.
The development was originally designed by Stephen Marshall Architects. Fraser Brown McKenna is understood to have been brought in to deliver the scheme.
In a statement, A2 Dominion said it was making ‘every effort’ to recoup the costs of any fire-related defects from third parties and that it would not charge for any faults in a property that existed prior to it being sold.
A rally is taking place in Westminster today, at which leaseholders who are facing unaffordable bills for cladding removal will demand action from ministers.
HomeGroup, which manages tower blocks on behalf of Adriatic Land 3, has been approached for comment.