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Two in hospital after ACM-clad high-rise catches fire in East London

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  • 07/05/2021
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Two in hospital after ACM-clad high-rise catches fire in East London
A high-rise block of flats part-clad with aluminium composite material (ACM) has caught fire in Poplar, London, with residents evacuated this afternoon.

 

The affected section of the 19-storey residential building in East London was 20 per cent clad in ACM, the BBC reported. 

Two men were taken into hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.

The incident will deepen calls for government to provide financial support for remediation works on high-rise blocks clad with the highly flammable material, which caused the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

In March, government statistics showed that 53 per cent of the 469 high-rise buildings known to have flammable cladding had been fully fixed.

Government has set aside £3.5bn to correct cladding on buildings of 18 metres or higher.

But on buildings lower than 18 meters, leaseholders have been expected to foot the bill with support through a government loan scheme.

The latest fire was in the New Providence Wharf estate developed by Ballymore.

Last week on Wednesday, MPs again voted down an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill which sought to protect leaseholders and tenants from paying to fix the cladding on high-rises.

Also last week, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee called for a Comprehensive Building Safety Fund — to cover the cost of remediation works for all buildings, whatever their height or tenure.

In Mortgage Solutions’ regular Star Letter feature, reader Arron Bardoe said, in response, “developers should be fixing these problems.”

HMRC launched a consultation on the design of a new tax on residential housing developers last week. The tax is due to come in from 2022 and is intended to raise £2bn over 10 years to help pay for the cost of cladding remediation works.

Guidance was issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICs) on which buildings require an External Wall Fire Review (EWS1) form, to clarify that their cladding is safe, in an attempt to unlock finance for leaseholders, back in March. 

However, lenders have continued to fight shy of high-rises, with research by Inside Housing finding that in some instances they requested the forms for high-rises which don’t fall under the RICs guidance.

 

 

 

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