Mansfield residents' fears over cladding at flat block
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St Crispins Court was constructed in 2014 on the site of the old Shoe Co building, and is currently under 24-hour surveillance after the discovery that material cladding the building was flammable - meaning a small apartment fire could potentially cause catastrophic damage and risk to life.
The country watched on in shock in June 2017 as flames engulfed Grenfell Tower, which was fitted with cladding that was subsequently deemed to be dangerous.
With the source of that fire being a malfunctioning fridge-freezer, the residents of the Mansfield apartment complex are concerned.
One resident said: “The investigation into the cladding has been going on for a long time.
"It’s shocking that this wasn’t picked up when the building was constructed and signed off, and now we’re expected to pay the price."
An invoice has been received this week, with some expected to pay almost £600 as a share of the ‘waking watch’ costs within 28 days.
The resident continued: "Everyone is struggling at the moment, it’s money we just don’t have.”
Premier Property Management and Maintenance took over the property in June 2018 and found a number of concerns whilst carrying out their risk assessments.
A spokesperson from PPM said: “We have completed fire risk assessments which highlighted a number of concerns, including poorly-fitted fire doors and trip hazards.
"Each property now has its own sprinkler system and we have remedied the hazards identified, so the building is now compliant, meaning the waking watch was removed as of yesterday, however the building still requires a ‘simultaneous evacuation’ policy in place until the cladding has been removed.
"We understand residents’ concerns and have made applications to the government’s Building Safety Fund for the costs to remove the cladding, along with a claim against the building warranty.
"If the warranty claim is successful, we would expect residents to be reimbursed for these waking watch charges, and the cladding will be removed at no further costs to tenants.
"If we are unable to claim against the warranty then we would hope to be successful with the government funding.”
Should neither claim be successful, residents will receive a further bill for the removal works.
Jill Finnesey, the council’s Head of Housing, said: “Mansfield District Council are aware of the situation, after the managing agents notified us after they had tested the building and non-compliant cladding was identified.“The agents have carried out a fire risk assessment, agreed with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, which has recommended measures to safeguard residents while the cladding is assessed further and a strategy for safe removal is formulated.
"This work will be the responsibility of the property owners but we have offered guidance to the owners and managers on any government funding support available for remedial works.”
Station Manager Jonathan Holford, said: “The property managing agents have implemented additional systems and procedures to safeguard residents.
"Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, working in partnership with the council, have offered guidance to the owners and managers on their responsibilities.”