In response to Councillor Jayne Dunn’s letter of August 14, I was extremely surprised to see that re-cladding costs for Hanover House are “in the region of £5 million”.
One of the leading structural engineering companies carrying out the assessments in the North of England quoted between £0.5 and £2 million as the range for carrying out this work on high-rise buildings, which includes both cladding and insulation replacement.
Where does Coun Dunn get her figures from?
She also states “our contractor used a different cladding specialisation than was initially intended. Clearly this is a gravely serious situation and a full investigation is under way” .
It is extremely unusual for a contractor to install something different to that specified. However, it is normal for them to offer alternatives to a specified product, but it is the client or their representative who makes the final decision. Will the outcome of the investigation be made public?
Finally, she states that “it is the government’s own woefully inadequate regulation which has created the situation whereby a tower block can pass building regulations only for this regulation to be found tragically unfit for purpose”. Can I remind her that after the Garnock Court fatal fire in Scotland in 1999, where cladding on the outside of a 14-storey tower block caught fire, and within 10 minutes had spread outside to the nine floors above, a parliamentary enquiry determined that “cladding may have to meet new requirements, to be contained in Approved Document B of the Building Regulations”. This included the fire testing of cladding and insulation as a whole system to meet building regulation requirements. It looks like the government of the day’s regulation was wholly inadequate.