City council continues work to ensure Nottingham residents living in tall buildings are safe

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Nottingham City Council is continuing to take action to support residents living in tall buildings in the city while the Government outlines its latest plans for replacing unsafe cladding.

Earlier this month, Michael Gove MP, secretary for levelling up, announced a plan to protect leaseholders and make developers and companies pay to fix cladding issues.

In the meantime, the council wants to reassure those living in taller buildings (18 metres or over) in the city that since the fire at the Grenfell Tower in London which killed 72 people in 2017, it has been taking action to help keep them safe.

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The council’s actions include immediately contacting developers and building owners to establish which buildings might have cladding considered to be a risk and therefore need replacing, setting up the country’s first joint audit and inspection team, made up of council officers and fire safety inspectors from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), and enhancing the levels of knowledge and experience of the council’s Building Control Team to ensure full implementation of the new Building Safety Bill when it becomes law later this year.

Nottingham City Council is continuing to take action to ensure people living in tall buildings are safe. Photo: GoogleNottingham City Council is continuing to take action to ensure people living in tall buildings are safe. Photo: Google
Nottingham City Council is continuing to take action to ensure people living in tall buildings are safe. Photo: Google

Cladding on council-owned residential tall buildings, which are managed on behalf of the council by Nottingham City Homes (NCH), already meets the required safety standards, and is not the same as that used on Grenfell Tower.

However, additional fire safety works, funded by the council have been happening at low-rise and high-rise blocks in the city as part of an £8.5 million fire safety enhancement programme.

They include retrofitting sprinklers in high rise flats and communal areas of 13 high rise blocks, upgrading existing intercoms with new tablets and door entry systems and upgrading existing tannoys.

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Coun Linda Woodings (Lab) portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, said: “The safety of our residents and leaseholders, whether living in high rise council apartments or private rented ones, continues to be of the utmost importance to us.

“Following the Grenfell tragedy, we acted swiftly to establish which buildings might be at risk and to engage the co-operation of the building owners and developers, for them to put plans in place to start replacing any suspected unsafe cladding.

“Working in partnership, we have undertaken a huge amount of work to help reassure city residents on the wider safety aspects of living in buildings, which includes carrying out fire safety audits of existing and new taller buildings.”

Nick Murphy, chief Executive at NCH, commented: "All of our council high-rise blocks have fire risk assessments in place and are fully compliant with current regulations.

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“The blocks were already safe prior to these works, but we have carried out further improvements like installing sprinkler systems, and upgraded the fire alarms, intercoms and communication equipment.

"This programme of fire safety improvements has offered further reassurances to the people living in our high rise blocks.”

Richard Ellis, station manager at NFRS, said, “We have been working closely with Nottingham City Council to improve and maintain the safety of these buildings in Nottingham.

"In addition, we have introduced a range of new procedures and equipment aimed specifically at fighting fires in tall buildings.

“To support this, we would like to remind residents of the importance of having smoke alarms and testing them weekly.”