Grenfell Tower fire: Denning Point in Whitechapel found to have ‘unsafe’ cladding
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Round-the-clock fire patrols have been introduced at Whitechapel’s Denning Point tower block in the wake of last week’s Grenfell Tower tragedy.
They are keeping watch in the 23-storey tower in Commercial Street which has been found to have cladding with panels of aluminium composite material that “does not fully comply with the requirements of the testing regime”.
East End Homes which owns the former council high-rise block opposite Toynbee Hall is carrying out the patrols, supported by Tower Hamlets enforcement officers if needed.
The housing organisation has been running tests on its tower blocks clad with aluminium composite material and found that Denning Point was not meeting fire safety standards.
“The panel is a fire retardant version of the cladding panel,” it said in a joint statement withy Tower Hamlets council.
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“We will be seeking further information on the results of the panel supplied for testing.”
A comprehensive inspection with the Fire Brigade took place this morning, following a Fire Risk Assessment in March.
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“All measures recommended by the Fire Brigade are in place,” the housing organisation added. “We have introduced immediate measures to meet Department of Community and Local Government recommendations to ensure the safety of residents.
“These include a 24/7 fire patrol stationed at Denning Point to inspect communal areas throughout the night. The council’s enforcement officers are providing support and will be available if needed.”
All families in Denning Point were being kept informed of these measures, along with local councillors and MP Rushanara Ali whose Bethnal Green and Bow constituency includes Whitechapel and Spitalfields.
Denning Point, opened in 1969, was finished in concrete without cladding. It was handed over to East End Homes about 10 years ago. The cladding was added in 2012 by East End Homes, the council points out.
Some 34 high-rise blocks in 17 local authority areas have failed fire cladding safety tests, the Government has said. These include Braithwaite House near Old Street.
But this will not necessarily mean moving residents out, the Local Government Association says. The decision to evacuate is based on inspectors’ concerns about a combination of other fire hazards together with the cladding.