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High-rise buildings in Norwich still have unsafe cladding two years after Grenfell Tower disaster

PUBLISHED: 16:29 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:29 14 June 2019

Five tower blocks in Geoffrey Watling Way, Norwich, still have unsafe cladding. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Five tower blocks in Geoffrey Watling Way, Norwich, still have unsafe cladding. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Five tower blocks in Norwich with unsafe cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower are yet to be removed two years on from the tragedy which killed 72 people.

Brennan Bank tower block in Norwich, which failed a cladding fire safety test in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.Brennan Bank tower block in Norwich, which failed a cladding fire safety test in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

More than 220 buildings in England have yet to see removal works begin, according to recent figures from the Building Safety Programme (BSP).

Some 328 buildings in England are said to still have aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding and work has not yet begun to remove cladding from 221 of them.

As of end of May in Norwich, the report shows there are between one and five high-rise buildings with ACM cladding that are yet to be remediated.

Five high-rise buildings with 174 apartments at Geoffrey Watling Way, behind Carrow Road, did not pass flammability tests in 2017.

Grenfell Tower fire in London. Picture: Natalie Oxford/PA WireGrenfell Tower fire in London. Picture: Natalie Oxford/PA Wire

Developer Taylor Wimpey said work began last year to remove the cladding on four of the five buildings - Robinson Bank, Nethercott Bank, Gavin Bank and Lochhead Bank - which is due to be completed by the end of 2019.

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Taylor Wimpey has allocated funds to replace the cladding but did not reveal the cost of the scheme.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: "We can confirm that works are underway to replace the external ACM cladding system on the buildings at the NR1 development.

The aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017The aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017

"We are halfway through the programme and currently anticipate that all works associated with the cladding replacement at NR1 will be completed by the end of 2019."

The developer said the fifth block, the six-storey Brennan Bank, is owned by Broadland Housing Association which has sought governmental funding for the works.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "The government has banned combustible materials in the external walls of new high-rise homes and guidance requires that sprinklers must be installed in new buildings above 30 metres.

"Building owners are ultimately responsible for the safety of the building and it is for them to decide whether to retro-fit sprinklers."

The BSP's figures were reported after survivors and relatives of those killed in the Grenfell Tower blaze on June 14, 2017, reiterated a call for urgent fire safety recommendations to be made, saying such a move "could save lives".

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