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Builders delay cladding removal during coronavirus as minister says works are ‘top priority’

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  • 02/04/2020
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Builders delay cladding removal during coronavirus as minister says works are ‘top priority’
Some builders have stopped removing dangerous cladding from buildings, as the government advises remedial works remain a top priority and should continue during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

Barratt Developments has blamed the Covid-19 outbreak for postponing works on a development in East London.

A resident in the Dalston Square development told Mortgage Solutions: “Every day that these urgent works are not carried out the safety of residents is put at risk – even more so with everyone now at home.

“Barratt has known about the issue since November 2018.

“Work can continue with social distancing, but they have now blamed the coronavirus for delays.”

The government has previously said construction work should continue amid the coronavirus lockdown where it is safe to do so.

And in an open letter regarding reforms to the building safety system, housing secretary Robert Jenrick today said: “The challenges presented by the spread of Covid-19 are severe.

“The government’s view is that the work to remove unsafe cladding from buildings is critical to public safety and so must remain a top priority.

“My department will do all it can to support building owners, managers and residents to ensure that remediation work continues where it is safe to do so.”

Concerns over fire alarm system

Barratt said a fire alarm system fitted within the Dalston Square development will keep residents safe while works are on hold.

However, people living in the development have reported problems with being able to hear the alarm on the residents’ facebook page.

The resident said: “Barratt says there is a fire alarm in place, but it has not been properly tested with everyone evacuated when I have been home.”

A spokesperson for Barratt Developments said: Following the installation of an enhanced fire detection system, all necessary measures are in place at Dalston Square to ensure the safety of residents.

Our priority during the global coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic is the health and safety of our workforce and we have taken the decision to temporarily close our construction sites and stop all non-essential works.

“We are committed to continuing work at Dalston Square as a matter of urgency as soon as it is safe to do so.”

 

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