Councillors at Runnymede have voted to take responsibility for cladding on the Addlestone One development, by replacing it and covering the cost for individual homeowners living in the development.
Addlestone One was built by the Council in 2017 and 2018, and some surfaces on its six residential blocks have cladding on them for both decorative and practical purposes. All of this cladding was deemed safe when the site was originally constructed.
External fire safety consultants conducted a survey of the residential blocks in 2021, which found that the cladding materials had an impact on the overall fire safety of the blocks and that it should be replaced. The independent consultants also confirmed that the Council’s fire and evacuation arrangements for the buildings remained sound and that no extra measures, such as a waking watch, were required.
Councillors have approved works to remove the cladding and, following a tender process, an experienced contractor called Lawtech Group Limited has been commissioned to carry out the removal and replacement work. The costs will be met by the Council but will not be paid for through any increase to the Council Tax.
Cllr Tom Gracey, Leader of Runnymede Borough Council, said:
We’re committed to doing the right thing by Addlestone One’s homeowners and I am sure they will be relieved to know that the Council is working to fix the cladding and will be covering the cost of the work.
Taking away the pressure these costs could otherwise have put on local families already dealing with inflation and cost of living increases will lift a huge weight off their minds.
In some cases it will also give people the ability to complete a sale, and for new owners to know they will not be saddled with a large debt.
Cllr Gracey added:
The cladding issues identified at Addlestone One are not unique to this development; it is a national problem which we and many other building owners must now deal with.
Across the country many homeowners have been left to deal with the financial consequences of the work required to fix unsafe cladding. This will not be the case at Addlestone One.
Homeowners in Addlestone One will not have to contribute towards the costs of the work if their apartment is on a privately owned individual lease, they bought before 14 February 2022 and they own no more than three homes in the UK.
The contractor is carrying out initial planning and preparatory works now and is likely to start on site in December, with the work due to be finished by the end of November 2023.
The Council has been in regular contact with residents through letters and meetings to keep them up to date about the progress of the remediation project, the most recent meeting being on 17 November 2022. Lawtech also has a resident liaison officer who is a conduit between the company, Council and residents.
There is no expectation that any residents would have to move out of their homes while the work is carried out.
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