Second Salford housing provider halts cladding removal

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) says it has inspected 61 high-rise properties in the region. Credit: ITV News.

A second housing provider in Salford has suspended the removal of cladding from its high-rise blocks because of “unclear” Government advice.

Salix Homes has followed City West Housing Trust in halting work on buildings that failed Government fire safety tests that were ordered following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

It said it was “acting in line” with other housing providers across the country.

Eight tower blocks operated by Salix were among 29 in Salford to not pass the combustibility tests, the highest of any local authority area in England disclosed by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Sue Sutton, executive director of operations at Salix Homes, said: “The cladding systems in place on all these blocks met all fire safety and building regulations when they were installed.

“Investigatory work began last week to remove cladding from our affected blocks, which has been temporarily replaced with aluminium panels to protect the building and ensure it remains watertight.

“However, Government advice regarding the removal of cladding is now unclear. In line with other housing providers in Salford and across the country, we’ve now halted the removal of further cladding until we have clearer guidance from the authorities on the best and safest solution to replace the affected cladding.”

She added that extra patrols would be stepped up on the affected blocks, which were all partially cladded, to bolster existing safety arrangements.

On Wednesday, City West Housing Trust confirmed it had suspended the removal of cladding from 12 of its high-rise blocks in Eccles which failed the combustibility tests.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) says it has inspected 61 high-rise properties in the region that have either failed the fire test or have Aluminium Composite Material cladding that needs a compliance inspection.