Tyne & Wear

Grenfell Tower: Same cladding on Newcastle student flats

Student accommodation under construction
Image caption The Shield, in Newcastle, is one of a number being developed by BAM Properties

A student block is being built with the same cladding used on Grenfell Tower in London where at least 79 people died.

The developer of The Shield in Newcastle said cladding on the building included Reynobond ACM PE panels.

BAM Properties Ltd operations director Gerry Mather said it "meets all fire safety and building regulations".

However, at its highest point, it will be taller than 18m, which is the maximum height the government has said such cladding should be used.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has said cladding of a composite aluminium panel with a polyethylene core would be non-compliant with current building regulations guidance.

But Mr Mather stated The Shield has "very different safety characteristics" from Grenfell Tower and is "considerably smaller than those being identified in public discussion by fire safety experts".

Image caption The new building is being managed by Fresh Student Living

"Because of the tragic current events, we've sought additional information and reassurances from the architect, building control and our fire safety consultants," Mr Mather said.

"This has reassured us that our building meets all fire safety and building regulations and standards.

"If we had any concerns we would act on these."

Newcastle City Council said the developer had appointed a private company, not the local authority, to oversee building regulations compliance.

The "approved inspector", HCD Building Control Ltd, has declined to comment.

The Shield is between five and seven stories high and about 20m tall at its height.

It is being managed by Fresh Student Living, which issued a fire safety statement on its website after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Its buildings are "fully compliant with fire safety regulations and are fire risk assessed", it said.

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