Cladding campaigners demand “no more Grenfells” at protest at Sky Pool in Nine Elms

Cladding campaigners have staged a protest at the famous Sky Pool to demand that developers pay to make their homes safe.

Campaign group Action for Fire Safety Justice gathered in Nine Elms on Saturday with tenants and leaseholders who are still living in unsafe conditions.

They are demanding that the developers complicit in the Building Safety Crisis pay to resolve the issues they caused and reimburse leaseholders for the thousands of pounds they have already paid.

Development companies Ballymore and Barratt have all built new properties at Nine Elms before fixing fire safety problems in existing blocks.

Thamesmead resident Adeline Tsang has been forced out of retirement after her building, built by Barratt, was discovered to have a non-compliant external wall.

The former ICU nurse manager and counselor faces a potential bill of £33,000 for the removal of flammable cladding – on top of costs she has already paid.

She has returned to work as a nanny after retiring years ago.

Ms Tsang, who lives in Royal Artillery Quays, said: “I had a very successful career. Now my savings have been getting a hammering. 

“I wanted to retire with my nest egg but now it’s all gone. I am worried I will be bankrupt and homeless when I am not able to pay on top of my mental health”

She has nightmares about her flat catching fire, adding: “We are living in a time bomb. We feel helpless.”

Credit: Reece Lipman

Action For Fire Safety Justice have demanded that there be no more disasters like Grenfell.

They are also calling for developers to pay to fix the building defects that they caused, and not to pass the bills on to leaseholders.

The protest took place near the now famous Sky Pool, which was built by property developers Ballymore.

The suspended pool was unveiled in May this year, a month after a fire broke out in a block near Canary Wharf built by Ballymore.

Natalie Carter, who lives in the building, New Providence Wharf, said: “I feel much more anxious since the fire. We were ignorant before, we knew there was dangerous cladding, but we didn’t realise the extent of all the other issues.

“If it were to happen again, which of course it could, and if it were to happen in the night, people would just die, there’s no two ways about it.”

A spokeswoman for Barratt said: “While we believe that Royal Artillery Quays met all appropriate building regulations at the time of construction back in 2005 and we have no legal liability, we have already provided support for the residents and leaseholders at Royal Artillery Quays and are in close contact with their Managing Agent to help them find solutions for any remaining issues.”

A Ballymore spokesman said: “Like many developers, Ballymore is hugely conscious of leaseholder anxiety surrounding cladding replacement at developments across the UK. 

“Leaseholders bought properties in good faith, just as we built properties in good faith and in full accordance with building regulations at the time of construction”.

“Ballymore is working quickly to carry out cladding remedial works across our portfolio. Works currently underway at New Providence Wharf Building A and at Embassy Gardens will be completed promptly and at zero cost to leaseholders.”

Pictured top: Protestors outside the Sky Pool (Credit: Reece Lipman)

 


 

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