Cladding to be removed from two Oxford tower blocks

Windrush Tower
Image caption Windrush Tower is one of two that will have their rain-screen cladding replaced

Cladding will be removed from two high-rise blocks of flats in Oxford after it failed fire safety tests.

Oxford City Council said Evenlode and Windrush towers in Blackbird Leys will have their rain-screen cladding replaced.

It said no-one would have to be evacuated from the towers and Oxford's other three blocks do not use the material identified as being at risk.

The move follows the fatal Grenfell Tower fire in London on 14 June.

A spokesman for the council said the current cladding would be replaced with "improved non-combustible material" as a precautionary measure.

The government has ordered all aluminium composite cladding on residential tower blocks be tested for fire safety.

Evacuation 'not necessary'

Council leader Bob Price said: "Tenants' safety is our top concern and we will not compromise on safety standards.

"We have been working with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service who have been involved in the design of the fire safety arrangements in the blocks.

"They completed a review of these arrangements and site inspections today, and confirmed that the fire safety measures in place are satisfactory.

"As a result I confirm that it is not necessary to evacuate the towers.

"We're arranging for the work to begin removing the cladding to start as soon as possible, and we'll let residents know more details about all of this as soon as we have finalised them."

The council said Oxford's other three tower blocks have rain-screen cladding made from non-combustible sheet aluminium, rather than aluminium composite.

It added that leaseholders would not be charged for replacing the cladding.

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