Residents relief to see the back of ‘Grenfell-style cladding’


Residents are relieved as insurers have agreed to remove Grenfell-style cladding from the tower blocks they live in.

The National House Building Council (NHBC), which insures scores of tower blocks around the country, will pay for the removal of Grenfell-style cladding from the New Capital Quay (NCQ) development in Greenwich.

NCQ is believed to be one of the UK’s largest developments to be covered in Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) panels, similar to the ones that were on Grenfell.

Residents in the development, which is believed to be one of the largest in the country covered in the cladding, spoke of their relief.

Susan O’Flanagan, who lives in a social housing unit in NCQ with her three children, said: “I am delighted. I have been trying to exchange my place for months.

“People come and then they see the cladding and it scares them away. “We have lots of kids in here. A lot of us parents are worried for our kids. If a fire starts, I’m just grabbing them and getting out as soon as I can.”

Leaseholders have 10-year warranties with the NHBC to cover building defects and the NHBC also signed off the development in its role as a building control organisation.

But, previously, the NHBC denied liability and Galliard Homes, which built the 11 tower blocks, were lining up legal action against the insurers.

In a statement, NHBC said: “As the warranty insurance provider at New Capital Quay, NHBC has investigated a claim under our policy and we can confirm that we have accepted this claim.

“This has been a highly complex process and residents have understandably been concerned.

We have made every effort to ensure they have been kept informed throughout the process and residents can now be assured that they will not have to bear the costs of the work.”

Residents could have faced a £40,000 bill to have the cladding removed and lived in constant fear that a Grenfell-style fire could engulf the building.

In a deposition to Greenwich council NCQ resident Annabel Parsons had said: “One neighbour in her 80s says she fully expects to die in her flat. She has mobility issues and knows of no specific arrangements to protect or evacuate her.

“The development is full of young families and children, parents are afraid of putting their kids to bed at night not knowing how they would protect them should there be fire.”

It is believed that there are scores of other buildings in the capital covered with ACM cladding.

Greenwich and Woolwich MP Matthew Pennycook welcomed the news on Twitter that the cladding on NCQ would be removed.

He said: “Fantastic news for all residents of New Capital Quay in West Greenwich.

Having concluded their investigation, the NHBC have today accepted the claim and will now cover the costs of removing and replacing all the dangerous cladding and insulation across the site.”

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