Cladding on the three buildings in the New Cross area of southeast London (1–48 Hatfield Close, 49–96 Hatfield Close, and Gerrard House) failed government fire-safety tests over the summer. Immediately following the release of the test results, Lewisham Homes introduced a 24-hour fire patrol service in the buildings.
Removal of the cladding began on 4 October and has been completed on schedule.
Lewisham Homes is now continuing to work with its contractor, United Living, to carry out external repairs to the building ahead of the replacement of insulation and materials to enhance and protect the buildings’ external structure.
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, visited Hatfield Close and Gerrard House to talk to residents and to meet the team overseeing the works.
Sir Steve said:
“It is a huge relief that the fire risk is now substantially reduced. Lewisham Homes was quick to act, has kept residents well-informed of progress, and tried to keep inconvenience to a minimum. It has been a difficult time for residents but I know the removal of the cladding will now provide residents with the reassurance they have been looking for.”
Ainsley Forbes, Chair of Lewisham Homes’ Board, said:
“The safety of our residents is a top priority and we were determined to do this as quickly as possible – but there could be no quick wins. We needed time to plan the work and make sure it was done properly. We are now offering financial assistance to residents to help with their increased energy bills as a result of the insulation and cladding being removed.”
Val Jarman, Vice-Chair of the Hatfield Tenant and Residents Association said,
“I feel so much better now the cladding is off and knowing I can sleep safely in my bed. It’s been up for 17 years and taking it off has been a hassle but we’re grateful to Lewisham Homes for being on the ball and keeping us safe.”
Daren Moseley, Managing Director, Refurbishment (South) for United Living, who were brought in to remove the cladding, said:
“We appreciate the great patience that has been shown to our team by Lewisham’s residents while this essential work has been completed. Safety is an absolute priority and this has understandably been a concerning time for those living in the affected buildings. Now the cladding has been removed, we will continue to work closely with Lewisham Homes to ensure the high standard of work on these properties continues. We understood resident concerns and were keen to alleviate these.”