Tyne & Wear

Newcastle student flats unsafe cladding removal delayed

St James' Point Image copyright Google
Image caption St James' Point can house 400 students

Cladding which failed fire safety tests has not been removed from a block of student flats, a year and a half after the Grenfell fire.

Work to take it off the 11-storey St James' Point in Newcastle city centre was due to start by the end of 2018.

However the building's owner, Student Roost, now says it will not begin until July and is expected to be completed by August next year.

Work was rescheduled to "ensure minimal impact" on students, it said.

"We continue to work very closely with the local authorities and fire service in Newcastle on a programme that is part of a comprehensive single fire strategy," a spokesperson said.

That included state-of-the-art fire alarms, sprinkler systems and dedicated lifts for firefighter access, they said.

'Must happen quickly'

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah said the council should have the power to enforce cladding replacement work.

"My understanding, from writing to the fire service, was that by July 2019 there would be no cladding left," she said.

"The real issue here is whether the fire service recommendations are being followed as quickly as they need to be and it seems to be initially in this case that they're not."

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the responsibility for making buildings safe lay with their owners.

"We are clear that replacing unsafe cladding must happen quickly and we are working with local authorities to ensure this," a spokesperson said.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites