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Mayor warns Mace not to pass on re-cladding costs

The mayor of London has warned Mace not to pass on the costs of re-cladding of the £225m Greenwich Square project onto its residents.

A spokesman for Sadiq Khan told Construction News that it was currently in discussions with Mace to ensure re-cladding work was completed swiftly, but said residents should not bear the costs of this work.

Last week Construction News revealed the cladding on the Greenwich Square project needed to be replaced after it was found to be category 3 ACM cladding, the most combustible of the three ACM cladding types.

In a letter to residents two weeks ago, Mace said investigations were ongoing but admitted that the facades on two of the site’s blocks would need remedial work.

However, Mace has yet to confirm whether it will pay for the work, leaving residents concerned that the costs may be passed on to them.

A spokesman for the mayor’s office said: “The mayor’s office received a letter from the Residents Association at Greenwich Square, regarding the cladding on the development.

“In our response, we assured the residents that we are already working closely with the building owner to ensure any necessary work is carried out as quickly as possible.

“We continue to work closely with the building owner to ensure costs of safety works at the Greenwich Square development are not passed onto leaseholders.”

Following an inspection by the London Fire Brigade in March, Mace was instructed to install a 24/7 fire patrol, or ‘waking watch’, in one of the blocks. Mace’s bill for the waking watch is understood to be £100,000 a month.

The mayor’s office said it was “monitoring the situation closely” and wanted to ensure the welfare of the leaseholders and shared owners was protected.

Residents at the Greenwich Square development have raised concerns with CN around the potential for cladding costs being passed onto them, as has been threatened by other companies on private developments found to have combustible cladding.

In February, a tribunal ruled that residents living at the Citiscape development in Croydon would be liable to pay for re-cladding work through their yearly service charge and faced a potential bill of £31,000 each.

The development’s builder Barratt eventually stepped in and agreed to foot the bill for the re-cladding work.

Earlier this week Manchester Evening News reported that Pemberstone, a freeholder of a 300-home development in Manchester, had taken legal action against its residents whom it says should foot a £3m cladding bill.

According to the report, residents could face bills of £10,000 each so the work can be carried out.

Pressure has increased on private development owners to pay for work on buildings found to have Grenfell-style cladding.

Earlier this month, housing minister James Brokenshire said he “had not ruled anything out” for private sector building owners that refused to meet the costs of re-cladding their properties.

The mayor of London’s spokesman said: “The mayor has repeatedly made clear that building owners should pay for the remedial work needed to make buildings safe so that these costs are not passed onto leaseholders or shared owners.

“He has written to both the previous and current secretary of state to call on government to step in and fund the works to make sure that a legal dispute over who is responsible for the cost does not delay these works from being carried out.”

A Mace spokesman said: “We reiterate that the safety of the residents of Greenwich Square is our number one priority and that we fully and immediately implemented the recommendations from the London Fire Brigade following their first visit to the site in March.

”Mace continues to pay for the recommended fire wardens (a so-called ‘waking watch’) on site and will be doing so for the foreseeable future.

“We are in regular contact with our residents, the local council, and the Mayor’s office. As soon as we are able to provide more clarity on the next steps, we will do so.”

 

 

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