Safety standards under spotlight in private high rise properties in Nottingham

Nottingham City Council is seeking information and assurance from all landlords of high rise buildings in the city that safety measures are up to standard in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

The council along with its housing management company Nottingham City Homes has undertaken a review of its own high rise properties – 13 residential tower blocks around the city. It has confirmed with the Government that none of them are clad in the same material that was used on Grenfell Tower. It has also asked the Government for support in implementing safety enhancements including fitting sprinklers and improving intercom systems.

However the council has also raised the issue of privately owned and run properties with the Government for them to consider what changes may be needed to housing legislation, planning requirements and building regulations to improve safety standards in such blocks.

The council has begun contacting private landlords of local high rise properties to request that they provide the sort of information that councils have been asked to provide to the Government. This includes assessing the type of material used in any cladding and reviewing their fire assessments to ensure they are robust. It has requested an urgent response.

City Council Leader Cllr Jon Collins said: “The focus since the Grenfell tragedy has been on council and social housing. However, we’re not just concerned about fire safety in the properties that we own, but all tower blocks in the city.  Since building control was de-regulated some years ago, a number of these properties will have had limited council input as private firms as well as councils have been able to carry out building regulation checks.

“That’s why we are writing to all the owners of these properties and asking them the same questions that the Government is asking of councils. We are urging all tower block owners that they treat our request with the utmost urgency and if we don’t get a prompt response then we will ask Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue service to undertake risk-based inspections.”

The City Council is also contacting universities, hospitals and other providers of public buildings to carry out the same checks and audits, while Nottingham City Homes is extending its review beyond high rises to all of the council’s housing stock.

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