New Providence Wharf's neighbours call for action on cladding crisis
Stefania Di Cio
- Credit: Nick Larkin
Canary Wharf people have called on the government to "deal" with the cladding crisis after a fire in New Providence Wharf saw two people hospitalised and 42 requiring treatment.
On May 7, the London Fire Brigade rushed to extinguish a blaze on a 19-storey tower block in the riverside development near Canary Wharf where controversial cladding material was being removed.
Residents in nearby blocks spoke to the Advertiser in the wake of the blaze and after the government opposed amendments to the Fire Safety Bill which would have protected leaseholders from costly fees to repair unsafe buildings.
New Providence Wharf's developer Ballymore has since offered an extra £20 million offer to get rid of dangerous ACM cladding on its tower blocks.
MPs and campaigners have since accused the government of missing an opportunity to deal with the cladding scandal.
Tim Hakke, 29, grew up around Blackwell Way. When asked about the government voting on the Fire Safety Bill, he said: “It doesn’t surprise me. I haven’t felt that the government represents us in years.”
Bow-based Alan Tucker, now retired and who has lived in east London since the early 1970s, said the situation is "ridiculous”: “It’s been in the government tray for four years and they haven’t dealt with it properly.
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"Someone has to deal with it."
A resident of nearby Charrington Tower, who would prefer not to be named, asked: “If something happens here, what are we going to do?"
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Back in February, the government announced a £3.5billion fund to help towards the cost of replacing unsafe cladding on buildings above 18 metres tall in England.
Owners of properties in lower-rise buildings, between 11 and 18 metres high, are eligible for a long-term, government-backed loan.
At the time, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "These measures will provide certainty to residents and lenders, boosting the housing market, reinstating the value of properties and getting buying and selling homes back on track. We are working with lenders and surveyors to make this happen.
"Our landmark intervention will make homes safer and free those who did the right thing – saving for years to get on the property ladder – to enjoy the homes in which they have invested so much."