Orchard Village cladding decision imminent

Orchard Village cladding decision imminent

Residents of the nine blocks of flats at Orchard Village South Hornchurch will soon hear from Clarion on how the housing association intend to deal with the external building cladding on the estate.

Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, has been informed that Clarion has received a report on the action needed to ensure that the buildings are safe from the spread of fire. The housing association, following consideration of the report, will then set out to tenants and shared owners the plan of action.

The buildings are under 18 metres in height and do not qualify for financial support from the government fund to support the removal of any unsafe cladding. The government proposals do not help with any of the costs of making buildings fire safe below that height.

Jon Cruddas MP said: "I am urging Clarion to expedite any necessary work to make the buildings safe. The safety of the residents must be paramount. The tenants on the estate would not have to meet the costs, but I also urge Clarion to do all they can to not pass on the cost of any remedial work to the shared owners. My criticism is of the government for reneging on their promises to leaseholders that they would not have to meet costs of making buildings fire safe due to unsafe cladding materials.

"The government ignored the findings of the Lakanal House inquiry in 2010 into the fire tragedy at that block of flats. They had seven years to change building regulations before the Grenfell Tower disaster, they did nothing. The government, building firms and manufacturers share responsibility for the cladding scandal, they should bear the cost. Leaseholders and shared owners are the innocent ones yet the government is pushing the costs onto them."