RESIDENTS OF the St Crispins Court building in Mansfield have expressed their fears after it was confirmed that the block was ‘constructed with non-compliant cladding materials’.
Chad reported on the issues at St Crispins Court, which was constructed in 2014 and is now ‘currently under 24-hour surveillance’ after surveys discovered that the cladding materials are combustible, so a ‘small apartment fire could potentially cause catastrophic damage and risk to life’. Residents were also sent invoices to cover the costs of the waking watch, with some expected to pay nearly £600 as a share of the costs within 28 days.
Premier Property Management and Maintenance (PPMM) took over the property in June 2018, and during fire risk assessments discovered a ‘number of concerns’ including the cladding, with a PPMM spokesperson stating: ‘We have completed fire risk assessments which highlighted a number of concerns, including poorly-fitted fire doors and trip hazards.
‘Each property now has its own sprinkler system and we have remedied the hazards identified, so the building is now compliant, meaning the waking watch was removed as of yesterday, however the building still requires a “simultaneous evacuation” policy in place until the cladding has been removed.
‘We understand residents’ concerns and have made applications to the government’s Building Safety Fund for the costs to remove the cladding, along with a claim against the building warranty. If the warranty claim is successful, we would expect residents to be reimbursed for these waking watch charges, and the cladding will be removed at no further costs to tenants. If we are unable to claim against the warranty then we would hope to be successful with the government funding.’
The news outlet noted that should these claims not succeed, residents ‘will receive a further bill for the removal works’, with one resident stating: ‘The investigation into the cladding has been going on for a long time. It’s shocking that this wasn’t picked up when the building was constructed and signed off, and now we’re expected to pay the price. Everyone is struggling at the moment, it’s money we just don’t have.’
Jill Finnesey, Mansfield District Council (MDC) head of housing, said: ‘[MDC] are aware of the situation, after the managing agents notified us after they had tested the building and non-compliant cladding was identified. The agents have carried out a fire risk assessment, agreed with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service [NFRS], which has recommended measures to safeguard residents while the cladding is assessed further and a strategy for safe removal is formulated.
‘This work will be the responsibility of the property owners but we have offered guidance to the owners and managers on any government funding support available for remedial works.’
NFRS station manager Jonathan Holford added: ‘The property managing agents have implemented additional systems and procedures to safeguard residents. [NFRS], working in partnership with the council, have offered guidance to the owners and managers on their responsibilities.’