Cardiff flats: Cladding removal 'caused damp'

Lydstep flats
Image caption A senior councillor said removing the cladding has "caused some issues"

Flats have been left with damp and mould after cladding was removed due to fire safety concerns.

Cardiff Council stripped the material from Lydstep flats in Gabalfa in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Resident Chris Stephens said he had been unable to sit in his lounge since Christmas due to damp and water leaking through the ceiling.

The authority said it was helping residents ahead of work to replace the cladding next summer.

It is also paying £200 towards the bills of residents, some of whom own their own flat.

Image caption Chris Stephens and son Jonathan want the council to take action sooner than later

Mr Stephens said: "We cannot keep sitting in the bedroom. We have got to sort this out. In this day and age it is not on."

He said that since the cladding was removed he had had issues with damp and water leaking through the ceiling and down the walls.

He has redecorated but said it was pointless trying to carry out any more work until the problem has been resolved at the building, which has been his family's home for 33 years.

A senior councillor said removing the cladding had "caused some issues" but "immediate steps" were necessary to ensure the safety of tenants in high-rise blocks due to concerns about cladding which failed fire safety tests.

Image caption Damp and a leak in the ceiling has caused damage, according to Chris Stephens

Lydstep flats had not been covered in an aluminium composite material (ACM), similar to that used on Grenfell Tower.

But tests showed it "no longer met current fire-safety standards and so was a potential risk to residents", according to councillor Lynda Thorne, cabinet member for housing and communities.

She said the authority would replace the cladding, put in new windows and install sprinkler systems next summer.

"We understand that this means another winter without a permanent solution for residents and so, we will be offering additional ventilation systems and trialling temporary internal insulation for affected flats," she said.

"The council is committed to delivering the improvements at Lydstep flats and will continue to make representations to Welsh Government regarding funding the remedial work."

But a Welsh Government spokesperson said it had "no plans to fund remediation work" regarding non-ACM cladding.

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