Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:55 pm
A Coventry councillor wants government legislation to change
A building in Coventry will not be stripped of Grenfell-style cladding because it falls less than a metre outside of government fire regulations.
Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding was found on student accommodation block Merlin Point, on Deasy Road, during an inspection by West Midlands Fire Service two years ago.
But current government legislation states it is only a requirement for the cladding to be removed from buildings 18 metres or higher – Merlin Point is 17.4m.
That means it is 60cm (23 ins) too short.
Building owners Beechfield Estates Limited (BEL) said the fire office has told them the tower “is in compliance with all fire safety regulations” and “is safe”, adding an external building engineering consultancy firms has further advised the small amount of partial cladding – which is on ‘strips between the windows’ – does not need to be removed, and that they have no plans to do so.
However, the fire service has said it “remains disappointed” on the government’s 18m ban and feels it “should have gone further” while Coventry city councillor Ed Ruane, former cabinet member for housing, believes the ACM cladding should not be on any building regardless of height and has called for a change in legislation.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “The government has banned this type of cladding on buildings of 18 metres. This is 17.4 metres.
“They identified this material two years ago and still the material remains on the building.
“Whether it is 17.4 metres or not, to have dangerous materials on the exterior of the building should not be the case and they should be taking measures to remove it immediately.
“We should be at a point where we do not put any flammable material on buildings of this height.
“The idea that it is half a metre under the specified length is ridiculous.”