Five Manchester high-rise blocks fail fire safety tests

Westcott Court, Lower Moss Lane, Hulme Image copyright Google
Image caption Westcott Court in Hulme is one of the blocks which will have cladding removed

Five high-rise buildings in Manchester will have cladding removed after it failed the government's fire tests following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Housing association One Manchester said the tower blocks in Hulme and Rusholme will not be evacuated during the work.

A spokesman said all tenants have been informed and there will be a 24-hour security watch at each block.

A contractor has been hired and "work will commence as soon as possible", he said.

The One Manchester blocks affected are:

  • Westcott Court, Lower Moss Lane, Hulme
  • Fulton Court, Boundary Lane, Hulme
  • Duffield Court, Brennan Close, Hulme
  • Worsley Court, Wilmslow Road, Rusholme
  • Platt Court, Wilmslow Road, Rusholme

Tests are being carried out on 600 high rises across England following the fire in London, in which at least 79 people died.

All samples tested so far have failed, amounting to 60 high-rise buildings in 25 local authorities, the government said.

The Grenfell Tower fire in north Kensington on 14 June started in a fridge-freezer, and outside cladding and insulation failed safety tests, police say.

In Manchester, the Village 135 development in Wythenshawe also failed the government tests.

In Salford, three high-rise buildings failed and work has already begun to remove cladding from nine tower blocks in Pendleton over safety concerns.

So far no buildings in Greater Manchester have been evacuated but occupants of 600 flats on the Chalcots Estate in north London were forced from their homes on Friday.

Housing Minister Alok Sharma has asked councils to act "urgently" to check buildings and not wait for the results of government tests.

"They should act now, get the fire service in, check the buildings that they think may be affected, put in place mitigation measures, if required, or, as in the case of Camden, if they need to evacuate, that needs to happen."

One Manchester said the type of cladding used on its flats is Alucobond which is non combustible and differs from that used on Grenfell - Reynobond PE - because it uses a mineral rock wool insulation.

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