Doncaster tower block window capping to be removed after Grenfell Tower tragedy

Silverwood House.
Silverwood House.

Parts of a high rise apartment complex in South Yorkshire will be removed amid fire safety concerns following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Tests revealed decorative window capping on the external stairwell windows at Silverwood House on Balby Bridge, Doncaster, was not up to the best fire safety standards possible.

An image of the Grenfell Tower blaze.

An image of the Grenfell Tower blaze.

A Doncaster Council spokeswoman said it will now be removed as a 'precautionary measure in the interests of public safety'.

She added the assessment showed that the capping was found to have some fire retardant properties - fire retardant means it slows fire down, but this is not as good as being fire resistant, which is the best standard.

The move comes after it was revealed that cladding from Harold Lambert Court, in Park Hill, Sheffield, is also being analysed to see if it is like that used on Grenfell Tower.

Since the London fire, in which 79 people have so far been confirmed dead but this is likely to rise, Doncaster Council and its housing provider St Leger Homes have been working with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to review the fire risk assessment for the council’s nine high rise blocks of flats.

Harold Lambert Court. Picture: Google

Harold Lambert Court. Picture: Google

Tests confirmed the cladding system used on all of the blocks is an external wall insulation render system which is not the same as was used at Grenfell Tower. It is fire resistant and meets the necessary safety standards.

So far cladding on 34 tower blocks in 17 council areas across England has failed fire safety tests, the government has said.

Jo Miller, chief executive of Doncaster Council, said: “Although we have not been advised that this decorative capping detail should be removed, we have decided to remove it as a precautionary measure to reflect that the health and safety of residents is our main priority, and hope that this helps to reassure residents."

Steve Waddington, St Leger Homes' housing director, added: "We have visited residents in Silverwood House today to explain the situation and to reassure them that we have carried out the necessary tests and will go beyond that to ensure their health and safety."

Work to remove the decorative cladding will start on Monday and will take about a week to complete. A further fire audit will also be undertaken.