The three residential high-rise buildings in Newport are the only ones to have been identified in the Welsh social housing sector as having aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding systems corresponding with those that failed large-scale combustibility tests.
Somehow, the entire construction industry supply chain seemed to think that ACM cladding systems were suitable for high rise buildings under building regulations. It took the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 to show that actually they were lethal in this application and did not comply with building regs at all.
Wales’ housing and regeneration minister Rebecca Evans said: “Since the terrible events at Grenfell Tower last year, we have worked closely with local authorities, building owners, managers, both the private and third sectors and others to gather a full and accurate picture of high-rise residential buildings in Wales, and to ensure that owners and agents are aware of government safety guidance and taking necessary action.
“Newport City Homes acted quickly to safeguard residents, putting in place a number of fire safety measures, including fitting sprinklers. Now it’s our turn to support them with this investment, which will enable Newport City Homes to continue their commitment to resident safety, without compromising their vital plans to build more social housing in the city.”
The funding will enable cladding to now be replaced on three 11-storey blocks run by Newport City Homes – Milton Court in Ringland, Hillview in Gaer and Greenwood in St Julians.
Newport City Homes board chair Nicola Somerville said: ““The minister has listened to our concerns and those of Newport. I would like to commend her for working in partnership to ensure that our work on making the tower blocks even safer does not impact on other essential initiatives in Newport. This is an excellent example of partnership working and agile public services in action.”