Work to remove Grenfell-style cladding yet to begin at 135 buildings

Almost a third of buildings in England identified as having Grenfell-style flammable cladding have yet to undergo work to remove it, according to Government data.

A total of 458 high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings were found to have aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, an increase of three since the end of June.

Unsafe ACM cladding systems remain on 243 buildings while remediation has not started at 135 (29.4%) of these as of July 31, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said.

Of this figure, 90 have a remediation plan while 39 reported an “intent to remediate and are developing plans” and the proposals are “unclear/awaiting further advice” for six.

Tower block fire in London
Tower block fire in London

Grenfell Tower, in west London, went up in flames on June 14 2017 and claimed 72 lives, with ACM cladding blamed for the scale of the tragedy.

MHCLG’s statistics also show ACM cladding systems are no longer in place at 215 buildings (47%).

The department said: “There are 243 high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings still with ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet building regulations in England – a decrease of three since the end of June.

“Of these, 108 buildings have started remediation – an increase of four since the end of June.”

Buildings where work has not started include 10 social sector residential, 102 private sector residential, five student accommodation, 13 hotels and five listed as publicly owned.

Figures outlining the overall progress show remediation has been fully completed at 158 buildings, works have been completed but awaiting sign-off at 18 buildings, and remediation has started with the cladding removed at 39 buildings.

Labour has previously warned thousands of people remain living in buildings wrapped in cladding which needs replacing and insisted the Covid-19 pandemic cannot be an excuse for failing to take swift action.

MHCLG said: “During Covid-19 restrictions, we know that 81 sites paused work on remediation and, as at July 31, 81% of those have resumed remediation works.”