Occasio House fails vital cladding test

News / Wed 4th Jul 2018 am31 06:46am

THE number of high-rise buildings identified as having potentially dangerous cladding has jumped by 50% in one month, according to the government.

And among the buildings is Occasio House, situated opposite the Harlow Playhouse. The 116 flats were opened in 2001 for young people who were caught in a “no home-no job”


Occasio House is not in use at the moment. YH understands that is owned by L and Q Housing Association.

We have contacted them for a comment.

There were 470 buildings identified as having cladding systems that would likely not meet Building Regulations guidance, compared with 311 buildings identified in May, according to a monthly data release from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government yesterday.

In comparison with the previous month’s count, an additional 156 private sector buildings were identified by local authorities as containing “similar ACM cladding systems to those which have failed large-scale tests” while three others had failed Building Research Establishment testing. ACM refers to aluminium composite material, the sort of cladding used on Grenfell Tower.

Of the 297 privately-owned residential blocks with unsafe cladding, only four buildings have completed remediation works while 21 other buildings have started remediation work. In the social housing sector, only 15 of the 159 buildings with dangerous cladding identified had completed remediation work while it had begun on 111 buildings.

Asked to comment on why this information on private buildings had taken one year to materialise, a ministry spokesperson said councils had been required to provide this information “by the end of May”.

“Now we have the figures we will continue to work with councils to ensure the complex work of remediation happens as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the fire and rescue services are working with building owners to ensure residents are safe now,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire has launched a government taskforce to identify cladding types in use on private tower blocks higher than 18 metres.

Darren Rodwell (Lab), London Councils’ executive member for housing & planning, said: “The government needs to commit to faster progress in making sure this remedial work is carried out to a high standard and as quickly as possible.

“London boroughs have worked hard over the past year to carry out safety checks in publicly-owned high-rise buildings, but it has proved much harder to identify the privately-owned blocks with potentially unsafe ACM cladding. The government is right to set up this task force, which must bring about more speed in identifying these buildings and encouraging private landlords to work with the relevant experts in taking remedial action.”

The real number of buildings containing unsafe cladding is expected to rise even further, Parliament heard earlier this month.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said that 1,319 cladding samples which had been sent to the government’s testing centre had not been tested, because the government was only testing ACM cladding.

Fire safety experts have raised concerns to the government that other types of cladding that resemble ACM cladding are just as hazardous.

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9 Comments for Occasio House fails vital cladding test:

Jake Shepherd
2018-07-04 13:24:44

I think only knock it down if its going to be rebuilt like for like (as in a replacement for the youth services and homes which were taken). Otherwise let it stand as a reminder that Essex County Council and Thames Housing have failed our town's young people who needed support and a home. It's not the just the cladding that's failed, we all have.

2018-07-04 17:26:37

I think, that you will find, that the occupants of that infernal building were solely responsible for it's demise. Whenever I went anywhere near it, all I came across were unruly, un-washed irresponsible louts, swigging cans of lager and, sometimes smoking dubious tobacco. Throwing objects from the upper floors seemed to be a very popular past-time. Don't give us a sob story JS. The local council officers should have sorted it out long before it reached closure.

2018-07-05 09:05:05

"Dubious tobacco" there's your Churchgate Street gangsta side coming out again. Once again Mr Scared Of Debate Micky is basing his opinions on hearsay and anecdotal evidence. But then, as a member of the Conservative Party, who's "Activate" initiative to attract younger voters was such a pathetic failure, it's no wonder he dislikes the young.

2018-07-05 10:59:39

Many of us said at the time that this scheme, known as a Foyer and based on a French scheme to help young people, was doomed to fail. The French Foyers have 20 to 30 residents in each one and are properly funded and staffed. To build such a large one in Harlow, without long term funding meant that at some stage L&Q were going to pull the plug. It shouldn't be beyond the imagination for Harlow Council to acquire the building once the cladding has been removed, convert it to less in number but larger sized flats and give homes to those on it's waiting list. The ground floor could still be used for educational purposes as I understand covenants on the land require.

2018-07-05 11:23:48

The idiot still blames the Tories for everything. My opinion is factual, not wishful,like some. I have seen and heard what I wrote about, the place was a hell hole for anybody walking past. The idea was a good one, but, it failed because of the attitude and behaviour of the residents, not all,I might add. ykw is again dishing out nonsense, he hasn't a clue about my politics,as I only comment on the matter at hand, he just makes assumptions, I though he would have learnt his lesson by now. Where is his comment about the subject we're on? As usual,side tracking rubbish again.

2018-07-05 14:44:34

Tenpin makes a good point and if this building did become available it would make sense for the council to bid for it once the cladding has been removed. The council could convert into social housing and perhaps work with PAH for key workers homes. Agree the ground floor would make a great community space.

2018-07-05 16:45:59

Scaredy cat Micky won't debate. He's all macho calling people idiots behind his keyboard but ask him to front it up and he's just another Tory troll.

Brett Hawksbee
2018-07-06 11:59:01

The cladding issue having been identified, perhaps Harlow Council should be bidding now. The price before the owners spend the money on contractors for the remedial work, should be more attractive, and once purchased HTS could be used to modify the building, cladding and all. If the Labour force, for what would be a significant exercise is not currently available within the HTS structure, they could project manage a conversion exercise using local subcontractors?

2018-07-06 13:11:06

That's the only way to go BH,but I think that our council will drag their feet. They should send a QS round now to quote for a re-fit.

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