Bristol Waverley

RESIDENTS OF blocks in Bristol and Portishead face ‘high bills’ to replace combustible cladding and install fire safety systems.

BBC News reported on the concerns of residents in blocks across the west of England about the ‘high bills’ they face to ‘replace defective cladding’ and for ‘upgraded’ fire alarm systems, as well as waking watches. In Brisol’s Harbourside development, the Waverley block has ‘defective’ cladding, with leaseholders hoping to qualify for the government’s cladding funding before the end of the year.

Leaseholder Gary Hall stated that he had ‘spent his life savings’ on a flat in the development, and added that ‘people are being affected in a terrible way. They’re having sleepless nights, all they want to do is buy homes and feel safe in their own homes and not be lumbered with crippling debts’. The residents are hoping to hear about the government funding before Christmas, which Mr Hall described as potentially being the ‘best present ever’.

The building was constructed by developer Crest Nicholson, and Mr Hall said he had been told that it was ‘safe to live in’, while the company declined to comment. An agent for the freeholder added: ‘We have every sympathy with leaseholders. We are working tirelessly both on securing funding and on the wider process to remediate the cladding problems.’

The Ninety4 On the Estuary development in Portishead, also built by Crest Nicholson, was also reported to have cladding deemed ‘hazardous’, and residents were told they will have to fund an upgraded fire alarm system alongside a waking watch. Also hoping to qualify for the government funding, the leaseholders were also hopeful that if that failed ‘insurers will pay up, as the building is less than 10 years’ old’.

Gary Lake, a leaseholder of several apartments in the development, commented that he was ‘confident this would be resolved’, adding: ‘It won’t be pleasant if I have to spent money… but one of those things I will take on the chin. I would like to think we could access the government fund - we will have to see.’

In this case, Crest Nicholson said it had ‘all the regulatory approvals’ when this development was built, while its owners Aviva said that the new fire alarm system ‘means wardens may no longer be needed’. UK Cladding Action Group’s Ritu Saha stated: ‘It is a disgrace leaseholders are having to bear these costs. We did not build these buildings, we did not decide what materials to use, not involved in the construction and did not sign off these buildings as safe.’