Camden Council has begun removing cladding from the Chalcots Estate as part of new safety measures put in place following the Grenfell Tower fire.
The council announced plans to remove cladding from the bottom two floors of the Blashford and Burnham blocks on the estate, with a specialist team then assessing the work ahead of removing the remaining cladding by the end of the month.
In June, Rydon, the contractor for the Chalcots Estate refurbishment, threatened to take action against Camden Council after the authority claimed that the cladding fitted to five towers in the borough had not been “to the standard commissioned by the council”.
Camden Council leader Georgina Gould said: “Residents have made it clear to me that they don’t want this material on their building and we’re determined to move fast and take it off.
“It is important that we know what options are open to us once cladding is removed.
“So, to move things along quickly, we have appointed our own specialist design team to come up with the right solution for Chalcots. Residents will be engaged at every stage as the work progresses.
“The government has carried out full cladding system combustibility tests but they are not yet in a position to provide any guidance on what new materials or products to use.
“We await this advice but we have decided that it would be wrong to wait any longer to remove the cladding.”
In June Camden Council temporarily evacuated five tower blocks on the estate after being warned by fire services that the authority could not guarantee residents’ safety.
The Chalcots towers were refurbished as part of a £150m project designed by architecture practice HTA that saw Rydon act as main contractor. Harley Facades provided the cladding for the scheme.
According to Rydon, the contract value for the refurbishment totalled £66m. The estate includes four 22-storey towers and another 18-storey tower close to Swiss Cottage.
The contractor has denied that the cladding used on the scheme was not up to agreed standards and is considering its legal position.
Rydon has been contacted for comment.