An operation to replace Grenfell-style, aluminium composite material, cladding from two residential blocks in Manchester’s Green Quarter is nearly over, as the Government laid out details of how to apply for the £1bn removal package announced in March’s Budget.
The completion of remediation work at Cypress Place and Vallea Court, developed by Lendlease with Pemberstone as freeholder, will mark a victory for residents who were initially told they would have to foot the bill for the work.
Residents of the two blocks off Cheetham Hill Road were told the buildings were unsafe shortly after the Grenfell disaster in June 2017.
Fran Reddington, a member of Manchester Cladiators, a group of residents living in buildings with unsafe cladding established to lobby Government, owns a flat in Cypress Place.
Reddington explained residents at Cypress Hill were told in August 2017 that the building was clad in ACM.
She said: “We waited six or seven months to find out that we would have to foot the bill. We self-represented at a tribunal and lost.
“We were told that the freeholder [Pemberstone] could pass on the cost of the remediation through the service charge as well as paying the freeholder’s legal fees.”
However, after a wide-reaching social media campaign and help from Manchester City Council, Lendlease agreed to pay for the work, which cost around £5m.
Despite the positive progress in the fight against dangerous cladding there is still a great deal of work to be done to remediate high-rise blocks across the North West and throughout the UK.
Much of that work has been slowed or stopped altogether by the current lockdown restrictions.
In March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged £1bn towards making buildings safer by replacing dangerous facades on blocks taller than 18 metres, which has now been made available but Reddington believes it is not enough.
The Greater Manchester High-Rise Task Force, headed by Salford Mayor Paul Dennett since its inception in 2017, agrees. Dennett said: “Residents in Greater Manchester are worried sick about living in buildings which have been assessed as unsafe if there is a fire. This is compounded during the coronavirus crisis with many residents staying at home as much as possible to protect themselves and others.
“It’s not good enough to leave people wondering if the money will run out before remediation work reaches their building.”
Lendlease and Pemberstone were contacted for comment.
- Further information on how to apply for the building safety fund