Grenfell-style cladding flats under 24-hour surveillance as Glasgow Harbour blocks given all-clear

Image of the Grenfell Tower fire courtesy of Natalie Oxford via Twitter
Image of the Grenfell Tower fire courtesy of Natalie Oxford via Twitter

Two housing blocks in Glasgow which were identified as containing ACM (Aluminium Composite Material) cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower are being subject to round-the-clock site patrols, it has emerged.

A letter from housing minister Kevin Stewart to the Scottish Parliament’s local government and communities committee confirmed that 24 privately-owned tower blocks in the city had ACM in their cladding systems, though Glasgow City Council had decided 22 of these buildings were low risk as the extent of ACM is limited.

All have received a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) operational assurance visit and have not identified any cause for concern in terms of the fire safety of the buildings.

Further testing on the remaining two blocks revealed that the cladding used was a lesser fire resistant type of ACM.

It is understood these are at Castlebank Drive and Meadowside Quay Walk in the Glasgow Harbour development.

Interim fire safety measures were put in place immediately following the test results including 24 hour, 7 days a week on site patrol with three people per building spread across different floors.

Other measures include:

  • Increased SFRS response weight to any major incident (6 engines and 1 high reach vehicle);
  • Residents have been told in the event of a fire they should evacuate the building rather than stay put;
  • Factors acting as a single point of contact taking responsibility to communicate with all residents immediately on the measures now in place; and

  • The commission of a detailed fire risk assessment by an expertly qualified fire engineer, following which SFRS will review the interim measures.
  • Meanwhile, three other Glasgow Harbour apartment buildings have been given the all-clear following an investigation by surveyors.

    The gh2o Phase 1 blocks which have been given the all-clear
    The gh2o Phase 1 blocks which have been given the all-clear

    Newton Property, the factoring company representing the owners of the three residential blocks at Castlebank Place, Glasgow Harbour Terraces and Meadowside Quay Walk, (also known as gh2o Phase 1) instructed a surveyor to physically assess the material used in the identified areas of the three buildings.

    The surveyor’s report confirms that the cladding used in all areas of concern is not ACM. It is a single skin aluminium sheet fixed to horizontal steel sheeting rails. Consequently, the cladding in place does not pose any increased level of fire risk to either the buildings or their occupants.

    Derek MacDonald, joint managing director at Newton Property, said: “During the initial investigation conducted by Glasgow City Council, paperwork dating back to 2005 suggested that ACM cladding may be present. Newton immediately instructed a surveyor to carry out a physical investigation into the cladding material present on the buildings. The report came back showing no signs of ACM cladding used in the identified areas of each block.

    “We have now written to all the owners of the properties within each block to alleviate any previous concerns and hope that the report reassures them that the cladding in place is not ACM and does not pose any increased level of fire risk.”

    A spokesperson from Glasgow City Council, said: “Council officers have seen the surveyor’s report and we are satisfied that the areas previously identified at gh2o Phase 1 development do not therefore pose any increased fire risk.”

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