Hartlepool flats given all clear after cladding checks following Grenfell Tower disaster

Titan House on the corner of Park Road and York Road
Titan House on the corner of Park Road and York Road

A Hartlepool tower block does not have cladding the same as was on London’s Grenfell Tower that burns easily, investigations have found.

Checks were carried out by local housing provider the Thirteen Group on all its high rise properties in the wake of the tragedy in Kensington in which 79 people are presumed to have died.

The five-storey Titan House block of flats, which is operated by Thirteen Group, in Park Road, Hartlepool, was one of the buildings that have been checked.

At a meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council, chief finance officer Chris Little, said: “Thirteen have confirmed that although it is high rise it does not have the type of cladding that has insulation on it.

“It is a type of metal cladding with nothing behind. They are still taking this seriously but think it offers some reassurance in relation to the nature of the cladding.”

The Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Paul Beck, said: “I welcome this report.

“In 2017 we don’t want to witness this anywhere in the country.

“I think it’s to be commended that the Thirteen Group are taking this seriously and all of the precautions they are putting in place.”

The update came after the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, which includes the council Cleveland Fire Brigade and numerous other agencies, contacted all local housing providers and landlords to make sure fire checks were carried immediately, including surveys of external materials.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said the cladding on Grenfell Tower is banned in the UK on buildings of that height.

Detectives say the building’s insulation and cladding tiles failed fire safety tests and they are looking into whether their use was illegal.

A minute’s silence was held for the people who lose their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire at the start of Thursday’s Full Council meeting in Hartlepool.

And in the wake of the London tragedy, Coun Paul Thompson asked Hartlepool’s representatives on Cleveland Fire Authority to strongly oppose plans to remove 58 firefighters posts from the brigade over the next three years.

“We should be sending a very clear message constantly over the next three years,” he said.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said he was happy to pick it up when he next meets with the brigade’s chief fire officer.

And at a meeting of the council’s Adult Service Committee, earlier that day, Councillor Carl Richardson asked officers to provide information on fire safety in Hartlepool’s care homes. It is due to be provided to a future meeting of the committee.