Grenfell Tower was ‘unsuitable for occupation and Stay Put’

Closing statements to first phase of public inquiry from Kensington and Chelsea Council and Office of the Mayor of London focus on cladding dangers.

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Grenfell Tower was “unsuitable for occupation and absolutely unsuitable for occupation with a stay put policy in place”, the public inquiry into the disaster has been told.

A closing statement to the first phase of the inquiry from the Office of the Mayor of London outlined concern at interpretations of safety standards that emerged from evidence.

The statement specifically noted the absence of any explanation for the seeming divergence of views between Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) and cladding contractor Rydon claiming “rigorous safety standards” and independent expert Dr Barbara Lane.

In evidence, Dr Lane told the inquiry if the material used on the outside of the tower had been known, the building should not have been occupied – because firefighters would have known what was facing them.

“If Dr Lane’s conclusions are correct, then Grenfell Tower was unsuitable for occupation and absolutely unsuitable for occupation with a Stay Put policy in place,” the statement says.

In its closing statement, Kensington and Chelsea Council acknowledged failures in the tower’s cladding system.

Subject to new evidence emerging in Phase 2, the council outlined conclusions that could be drawn, including:

• No evidence of a holistic fire engineering solution
• The cladding system did not meet the performance criteria given in the BRE fire performance report external thermal insulation for walls of multi-storey buildings
• No full scale BS 8414 test of the cladding system that was installed
• No desktop assessment of the cladding system that was installed
• The insulation materials/products used in the cladding system were not of limited combustibility
• The failure of the cladding system to comply with a specified functional requirement

KCTMO is expected to give its closing statement to the inquiry tomorrow (12th Dec).

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