Work starts to remove cladding from high-rise flats after safety inspections

Kennedy Gardens, Billingham. Picture Google Street View
Kennedy Gardens, Billingham. Picture Google Street View

Work has started to remove combustible cladding found to be on a high-rise block of flats in Billingham.

Housing provider Thirteen Group has carried out safety checks on its buildings following the Grenfell Tower blaze in London.

Grenfell Tower. David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Grenfell Tower. David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

It has confirmed that after further detailed inspections, the one of its high-rise buildings at Kennedy Gardens, in Billingham, has been found to be partially clad with grade three cladding, which is combustible.

The Thirteen Group says residents are being told in person by staff who are on hand to provide reassurance and give practical advice on minimising fire risks.

Immediate action to remove the cladding has been taken and contractors will be on site from Monday morning.

Thirteen Group Chief Executive Ian Wardle said: “We acted immediately to ensure the safety of our residents by checking and double checking the nature of the cladding on our buildings, where it exists.

“We had specified that the cladding should be fire retardant and following tests that have shown that this is not the case, work to remove the cladding will begin as soon as physically possible, and contractors will be on site from first thing Monday morning.

“Our team is now contacting residents of the building to make them aware and provide any practical assistance they might need.”