More high-rises fail fire safety tests

Cladding on 60 high-rise buildings across 25 local authority areas in England has failed fire safety tests, the government has said.

Tests are taking place on the fire resistance of cladding on up to 600 buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington on 14 June.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said all buildings examined so far had failed the test.

Councils were told to prioritise buildings they had most concern over.

Not all the buildings affected have so far been named but a list from the DCLG identifies 14 of the areas:

  • Camden – five buildings
  • Brent – one
  • Barnet – three
  • Hounslow – one
  • Islington – one
  • Lambeth – one
  • Wandsworth – two
  • Manchester – four
  • Norwich – one
  • Plymouth – three
  • Portsmouth – two
  • Doncaster – one
  • Sunderland – five
  • Stockton-on-Tees – three

Separately, cladding is to be removed from nine tower blocks in Salford while Bootle said two buildings had cladding that failed tests.

The update came as Camden Council said it had told about 200 residents still refusing to vacate four of its tower blocks on the Chalcots estate that they “must leave” to allow improvement works to go ahead. The majority of the residents of the four buildings were evacuated on Friday night.

Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said officials would visit residents still in their homes, as they required them to leave the blocks before work on making the buildings safe could begin.

She said there were “various legal routes that Camden Council could explore. However, we really don’t want to do this”.

The cladding on the buildings in the Chalcots estate is similar to Grenfell Tower where the fire is feared to have killed 79 people.

Chalcots was refurbished between 2006 and 2009 by the same firm, Rydon, that oversaw work at Grenfell Tower in 2015-16.

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