'Took long enough': Cladding hole being fixed after 28 months

Cladding fell off Westlegate Tower in March 2019, and work has now begun to fix it

Cladding fell off Westlegate Tower in March 2019, and work has now begun to fix it - Credit: Archant

Work has finally begun on fixing a hole in a city centre apartment block more than two years after a chunk of cladding fell off during gale force winds. 

Scaffolding has run up the side of Westlegate Tower since March 2019 - obstructing the views of some residents in a saga one dubbed "a pain in the neck". 

But work has now begun on the building to fix the hole in the exterior and will continue for the next ten weeks. 

Lion & Castle Yard has been closed to the public while additional scaffolding is put in place to complete the works. 

The scaffolding which has been on Westlegate Tower for more than two years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The scaffolding which has been on Westlegate Tower for more than two years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

John Williams, the chairman of Westlegate Tower's Residents' Association said: "We are happy work is now progressing after significant delays."

Another resident said: "I'm just glad it's being sorted - it's been a pain in the neck." 

The building is managed by Watsons Property, who said the delay was due to "a shortage of suppliers in the market generally due to the UK cladding situation".

The scaffolding has been a gripe for businesses and the local community alike - with one former cafe owner claiming the disruption caused by the cladding problem lead to the closure of his business, Mindoro. 

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At the time Watsons offered no comment. 

Scaffolding is going up around Westlegate Tower

Scaffolding is going up around Westlegate Tower - Credit: Archant

Rachel Waring owns cafe Warings Lifestore beside the tower and said: "I wasn't consulted that the scaffolding was going up, but I'm relieved it's finally being sorted. 

"I just hope something like this never happens again." 

Clive Lewis, MP for the area, said: "This has taken long enough. It's been nearly 29 months since the cladding first fell off the building and it has been an eyesore ever since. 

"Businesses and pedestrians in the local area are still nervous about the cladding during high winds. The people of Norwich deserve assurances that disruption like this won't happen again."

When asked if there may be any more cladding-related issues with the building, a spokeswoman for Watsons said: "The areas that are due to be remediated will not require any further repair."

Graham Construction are the contractors carrying out the work, according to signs around the building.

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