Unsafe insulation to be removed from high-rise

UNSAFE insulation material is to be removed from a building in Woking town centre and fire wardens are on duty 24 hours a day until the work is completed.

The moves come after an inspection of high-rise buildings in Surrey following the Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed 72 people in 2017.

Work to remove flammable ACM insulation from Eastgate Court is expected to begin later this year

Eastgate Court, in Station Approach, has flammable insulation under the cladding, according to Graham Whitfield, chairman of the Surrey branch of the Fire Brigades Union. Southern Housing Group, (SHG) which owns and manages the nine-storey building, has confirmed that it is planning a programme of works to bring it up to “current safety standards.”

Chris Harris, executive director customer services at SHG, said extra precautions included a 24-hour waking watch, an audible fire alarm and an updated the evacuation policy.

“Following advice from the fire brigade, the policy is to evacuate the building in the event of a fire,” Mr Harris said.

“We are working with the fire authority and the local authority and both have confirmed that the precautions we have put in place and our programme of work to the building up to current safety standards, mean that there is no cause for alarm. The safety of our residents is our first priority. We understand that fire safety is of increasing public concern.”

Last week, Graham Cundy, the Woking Borough Council portfolio holder for planning control, denied claims that Eastgate Court was one of two buildings in the town with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding panels. ACM panels have been blamed for as the “primary cause” of helping the Grenfell fire to spread.

It is believed that the work on Eastgate Court will start later this year after further work, including applying for planning permission.

For the full story get the 6 February edition of the News & Mail

Recommended For You

About the Author: Editorial Team