800 households to be evacuated from London tower blocks amid fire safety concerns

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SAFETY CONCERNS: Chalcots estate, Camden

CAMDEN Council is to evacuate more than 800 households from four tower blocks on the Chalcots estate in London amid concerns about the safety of residents.

It comes after a joint inspection by the council and the London Fire Brigade after the inferno at the Grenfell Tower in Kensington left 79 dead or missing presumed dead.

The Chalcots estate has five tower blocks – four 22 storey blocks and one 18 storey block – clad in similar materials to the panels to those used in the Grenfell Tower.

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In 2012, there was a fire in the Taplow block that was contained.

Rydon, the construction company that completed the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower for the Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) also worked on the refurbishment of the  blocks on the Chalcots estate.

While Rydon was the main contractor, it subcontracted the design and installation of the external cladding to Harley Facades.

In a statement issued today Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said: “Camden Council is absolutely determined to ensure that our residents are safe and we have promised them that we will work with them, continue to act swiftly and be open and transparent.

“Last night the Chief Executive and I led a public meeting to listen to the concerns held by residents of the Chalcots estate. Upon hearing from residents we immediately instructed a joint fire inspection with the London Fire Brigade.

“Today the London Fire Brigade completed a joint inspection of the blocks with Camden Council technical experts. Together we decided that the Taplow block needs to be temporarily decanted while we undertake urgent fire safety works so that residents can be fully assured of their safety. This means that we need to move residents from their homes and into temporary accommodation.

“We anticipate that these works will be completed within three to four weeks. We realise that this is hugely distressing for everyone affected and we will be doing all we can, alongside the London Fire Brigade and other authorities, to support our residents at this difficult time. The Grenfell fire changes everything – we need to do everything we can to keep residents safe.

“You will appreciate that this is an emerging situation and we will be providing regular updates.”

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