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Work to remove Grenfell-style cladding from Norwich blocks continues as government makes funding pledge

PUBLISHED: 12:51 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:04 09 May 2019

The blocks of flats on Geoffrey Watling Way where cladding failed fire safety tests. Photo: Archant

The blocks of flats on Geoffrey Watling Way where cladding failed fire safety tests. Photo: Archant

Archant

Unsafe Grenfell Tower-style cladding on private residential high-rise blocks will be replaced at the cost of around £200m - funded by the government.

Prime minister Theresa May. Photo: PAPrime minister Theresa May. Photo: PA

The money will be made available to remove aluminium composite material cladding from around 170 privately owned high-rise buildings across the UK.

It comes as work is under way to replace cladding on five tower blocks in Norwich.

After the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017, it emerged that five tower blocks on Geoffrey Watling Way in Norwich were fitted with similar aluminium cladding to the London tower.

The five towers, which make up the NR1 Development, were tested as part of widespread examinations carried out in the wake of the tragedy and failed to meet fire safety requirements.

Firefighters spraying water after the fire which engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London. Pic:Victoria Jones/PA WireFirefighters spraying water after the fire which engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London. Pic:Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Developers Taylor Wimpey started work to replace cladding in March, with 174 apartments spread across the buildings - Robinson Bank, Nethercott Banc, Gavin Bank, Lochhead Bank and Brennan Bank.

Four of the five blocks are privately owned and run by a management company, while the freehold on the six-storey Brennan Bank rests with Broadland Housing.

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As a social housing provider, Broadland Housing is entitled to separate government funding to cover the costs of work on that block.

The cladding is expected to have been completely replaced by the end of this year.

Taylor Wimpey had not disclosed the cost of the scheme, but said it had put aside cash to pay for the cladding replacement.

It is understood that Taylor Wimpey will not be applying to the scheme for the cost of the Norwich work.

Under the government scheme, building owners will have three months to claim the funds, with one condition being that they take "reasonable steps" to recover the costs from those responsible for the cladding's presence.

Prime minister Theresa May said: "It is of paramount importance that everybody is able to feel and be safe in their homes.

"That's why we asked building owners in the private sector to take action and make sure appropriate safety measures were in place.

"Today I can confirm we will now be fully funding the replacement of cladding on high-rise private residential buildings so residents can feel confident they are secure in their homes."

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