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Some London folk still living in ‘flammable’ homes

KUALA LUMPUR (June 11): Some London residents are still living in homes covered in the infamous flammable ACM cladding, the cause of the tragic fire that consumed Grenfell Tower almost four years ago.

One of these is the New Providence Wharf development (pictured) located in Poplar, east London. The tower block actually caught fire about a month ago.

According to a report by The Guardian last month, the building “is clad partly in combustible aluminium panels similar to those that fuelled the fire at Grenfell Tower”.

In the latest report by The Evening Standard, builder Ballymore will remove the ACM cladding from the tower.

A report by the Housing Today website last month stated that a “Ballymore subsidiary had been ‘named and shamed’ by the government in January for failing to remove cladding”.

Ballymore said also in January that work to remove the cladding was “complicated” as the building faces directly onto the river and its apartments house more than 1,000 residents.

Residents are saddled with a huge problem impacting the value of their property.

Natalie Carter told Evening Standard that until the building is fixed, the two-bedroom flat she paid £650,000 for “is unmortgageable and therefore is unsellable.

And because the building is deemed a fire risk, a “waking watch” of security guards must patrol the site day and night to watch out for fires.

The cost of that service is £47,000pcm, which means Carter has to pay about £8,000 per year in service charge.

“It is a lovely place, but I just can’t afford to live here anymore,” she said, but until the ACM cladding is she does not have a choice as no one would buy her property.

Meanwhile, a Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: “We know many people are worried – that’s why we’re providing over £5 billion to fix dangerous cladding on the highest risk buildings and are ensuring no leaseholder in lower rise buildings pays more than £50 a month for these costs, through our finance scheme.

“We have been clear building owners should make their buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders - and we will ensure the industry pays its fair share towards the costs of removing unsafe cladding through a new levy and tax.”

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