Work begins to replace flammable cladding on council flats after three years of delays
Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter
Work has finally begun to replace the cladding on council flats in Cardiff after more than three years of delays.
Flammable cladding was found on Lydstep Flats in Llandaff North in March 2018, following concerns about fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Cardiff council removed the cladding in December later that year, leaving residents suffering from cold flats, poor insulation and black mould.
Now contractors ISG have started to replace that cladding, with the work expected to last until summer next year.
Councillor Lynda Thorne, cabinet member for housing and communities, said: “I’m so glad, as I know all the Lydstep residents are, that contractors are now on site to begin replacing the cladding that was removed because it didn’t meet current fire safety standards.
“The cladding we’re using to overclad the three blocks is of the highest level of fire safety.”
The work includes new windows and upgrading balconies for the 126 flats. Meanwhile, residents in council flats in Butetown are still waiting for contractors to begin installing replacement cladding, with no start date announced yet.
Flats at Loudon House and Nelson House in Butetown were also found to have flammable cladding in the wake of the Grenfell fire.
Delays to both the council flats in Llandaff North and Butetown were due to inflation caused by Brexit and the pandemic, according to the council, as well as changes to the safety testing rules for new cladding. The estimated cost of replacing cladding at Lydstep doubled from £7.4 million to £15 million.
Cllr Thorne added: “Progress on this work has been affected by significant cost rises due to Brexit and inflationary pressures in the building industry, as well as the impact of the extensive testing and regulation framework for cladding solutions.
“Throughout this time, we have been so grateful to the residents for their patience as we worked on finding the right solution for the three blocks, and it’s great to see contractors on site and work underway.”
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