An urgent appeal has been made for a home builder to make progress with fire safety work in Crown Heights.
As previously reported, the exterior cladding of Crown Heights, which has approximately 250 apartments, contains the flammable material “expanded polystyrene” and has no firestops.
This means that if a fire were to break out, it could engulf the entire building in a manner similar to the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017.
The building’s original developer, Barratt Homes Southern, is currently undertaking a risk assessment on Crown Heights to see what work needs to be done, with new fire systems, such as heat sensors, in place to try to reduce the risk of fires.
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However, the lengthy process upset residents of the building.
Basingstoke MP Maria Miller chaired a meeting of the Association of Residents of Crown Heights and Barratt Homes.
Ms Miller said: ‘Residents of Crown Heights have been under incalculable pressure, due to the uncertainty of when fire safety work will be completed in their building. It is important that those responsible for the work keep residents informed of the work they are carrying out, and it is reassuring that in light of this meeting, Barratts has also agreed to engage directly with residents in the future.
“I am pleased that some progress has been made. Barratt’s has signed the Building Safety Pledge and has now begun the fire risk assessment of the exterior walls, which is due to be completed in December. Residents will also be reimbursed from the Service Fee Fund for the cost of the Awakening Vigil. At the meeting, Barratts made it clear that he would work directly with residents who need to remortgage, providing the necessary information required by mortgage lenders, once a costed and funded remediation plan has been agreed. ”
Nurse Peter Bell, who has a co-mortgage on an apartment in Crown Heights, said he was “effectively trapped” due to the building’s coating.
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He said: ‘Me and my girlfriend both work in the hospital and we have enough money to buy a place for good but we can’t get out of the mortgage here until the coating is not settled.
“He keeps getting thrown off the road every time; I think we are now talking about starting next year and continuing until 2025.”
Meanwhile, Ms Miller continued: ‘However, it is essential that Barratts takes all possible steps to complete the work quickly and give residents much needed security and peace of mind. I will also contact the borough council on behalf of the residents to request that the planning application to undertake this work be given immediate priority.
. Call Action MP Basingstoke on the works safety fire Crown Heights