Monday, 19 April, 2021 I know that there are residents in certain Chelmsford properties who are deeply affected by ongoing issues with fire safety and cladding. This is an issue that I take extremely seriously and have been working very hard to resolve, both by raising issues with ministers and by meeting the various management companies and developers of properties affected in Chelmsford.
Regarding the Marconi development, I have met with Bellway, Pinnacle Management, Eastlight Homes and a member of the Leaseholder Panel on a number of occasions to discuss ongoing issues. I understand that workers are onsite at the development to remove cladding at various points which would negate the need for a Waking Watch. A Waking Watch is something I know that residents were very keen to avoid. I have met with this group once a month for the past 2 months, our next meeting is due to take place soon and I will continue to hold these meetings until the issue is resolved. At present we are still awaiting answers to certain questions from leaseholders to Bellway and I am pressing for these.
With regards to the Waterfront Development, I met with Remus Management again on Friday. I understand that there is one block which requires remedial work following a holistic fire survey. The holistic review showed that the building is quite well served in terms of the number of fire exits, the day to day fire equipment is well maintained and it did not recommend an interim measure such as a Waking Watch. I understand that Remus are assembling a project team who will look at costing the remedial work. Remus will present their findings to Taylor Wimpey, the original developer, to see if it is eligible for their £125 million fund. I am due to meet Remus again in 4 weeks’ time by which point hopefully we will have further feedback from Taylor Wimpey.
In my meeting with Remus Management we also discussed Parkway House. This property also requires remedial work to the top floor following a holistic fire survey, and similarly to the Waterfront, there were no interim measures recommended; the building is well served in terms of fire escapes and fire systems. I understand that Remus discussed Parkway House with the Fire Brigade, and they were satisfied with the results of the holistic survey which stated that no communal fire alarms were required. Remus are currently considering a variety of options regarding funding remedial work, which include potential insurance claims.
I have also met with Swan Housing and Hera Management to discuss the affected properties in Lynmouth Avenue. I have been informed by Swan that they are still in negotiations with Hill, the original developer, to develop a remedial solution.
Finally, regarding Century Tower, I am in the process of setting up a meeting with Kier Group, the original developer, and KJC Property, the management company, to discuss ongoing concerns. Century Tower is over 18m and therefore qualifies for the Building Safety Fund. I understand that they have been offered an amount of funding for remedial work, but that this does not cover all work required. I hope to speak to Kier and KJC soon so that we can move towards finding a solution for those living at Century Tower.
I completely understand just how distressing this situation is for so many people. If you are personally affected by this problem, or live in a property that I have not discussed above, please do email me at email@example.com to raise your concerns with me, and I will continue to do my very best to help you.