Residents feel ‘uneasy’ as eight high-rise buildings fail fire safety tests

Picture of the building on Neptune street

Residents of buildings in Leeds with unsafe cladding are raising their concerns after a fire at a student accommodation in Bolton.

In December 2018, the government banned the use of all combustible cladding following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 which left 72 people dead.

However, this only applies to new buildings so the ban will not cover the cladding on existing buildings, a cause for concern for residents of the affected buildings.

In a freedom of information request answered last week by Leeds City Council, they announced there are currently eight buildings over 18 metres tall that have failed to meet fire safety standards.

The council said that the following buildings still have cladding that fails to meet the required standard:

  • 20-20 Block Flats, Skinner Lane
  • City Island Phase 2 , Gotts Road
  • Concept Place, Burley Road
  • Park Plaza Hotel, Boar Lane
  • Quay One, Neptune Street
  • Sentinel Towers, Burley Street
  • Sky Plaza, Clay Pit Lane
  • Skyline Tower, St Peter’s Square

The four buildings pictured above are student accommodation.

Caleb Thompson, who lives at Sky Plaza said:

“After what happened with Grenfell and now the fire in Bolton, I feel uneasy knowing that the building I live at has similar cladding. 

“I know my accommodation and a few other buildings have known about the issue for a while and haven’t done much.

“If a fire were to breakout I think we would be in a very vulnerable situation.”

According to the Guardian, quotes for remediation on cladding have typically been in the £4m-£5m range.

Harvey Coltman, a resident at Concept Place understands replacing cladding is not as easy as people think.

He said: “I can understand why buildings like mine haven’t changed the cladding yet because the building is so big.

“I can imagine it costing a lot and taking ages to do.

“Having said that, it does make me feel less safe knowing that should there be a fire my building may go up in flames. “

We have contacted the eight buildings to see if anything is being done to resolve the issues. Only one has replied.

Nick Massingham, development manager of 20:20 block flats said:

“The cladding which has failed is located on the top floor of the building and small strips on the Skinner Lane elevation.

“Insurers have accepted a claim against the building warranty and expect works to be completed around February 2020.”

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