Cladding set to go

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

A TEESSIDE block of flats HAS been cov­ered with com­bustible cladding, a hous­ing com­pany has con­firmed.

Thir­teen Group says that fol­low­ing fur­ther, in-depth in­spec­tions, Kennedy Gar­dens in Billing­ham has been found to be par­tially clad with “grade three cladding”, which is com­bustible.

The group’s safety of­fi­cials have tested all 20 of its Teesside tower blocks af­ter the tragic Gren­fell Tower fire in Lon­don, which has claimed 79 lives with many more miss­ing and feared dead.

Thir­teen orig­i­nally said none of its build­ings had com­bustible cladding fit­ted, and in­sisted that none of the ma­te­ri­als found on Gren­fell could be found on Teesside.

But af­ter fur­ther checks, the com­pany will now in­form res­i­dents at Kennedy Gar­dens in per­son, with staff on hand “to pro­vide re­as­sur­ance and give prac­ti­cal ad­vice on min­imis­ing fire risks”.

There will be no ur­gent evac­u­a­tions, a spokesman said, and im­me­di­ate ac­tion to re­move the cladding has been taken.

Thir­teen Group chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian War­dle said: “We acted im­me­di­ately to en­sure the safety of our res­i­dents by check­ing and dou­ble check­ing the na­ture of the cladding on our build­ings, where it ex­ists. We had spec­i­fied that the cladding should be fire re­tar­dant and fol­low­ing tests that have shown that this is not the case, work to re­move the cladding will be­gin as soon as phys­i­cally pos­si­ble”

Kennedy Gar­dens in Billing­ham

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