Re-cladded flats in Northampton 'passed fire safety tests' says social home operator - after London tower block tragedy

Work was carried out on St Katherine's Court in Spring Boroughs over March and April.
Work was carried out on St Katherine's Court in Spring Boroughs over March and April.

Northampton's main social housing provider has issued reassurance to residents of a block of flats recently fitted with a new external cladding - after the horrific high-rise blaze in London.

Six people have been confirmed as dead and around 20 people are currently in a critical condition following the devastating fire at the Greenfell Tower in London early this morning.

Several eyewitnesses and survivors have reported how plastic cladding - installed as part of a 2016 renovation there - appeared to help spread the fire quickly to the upper floors.

Various experts including Dr Jim Glocking, technical director of the Fire Protection Association, have told media outlets today that such cladding could have contributed to the mass blaze.

In Northampton, St Katherine's Court in Spring Boroughs has only recently been fitted with an outer cladding as part of a March facelift.

The block is home to 39 apartments, all but two of which are home to multiple residents, and is managed by Northampton Partnership Homes on behalf of the borough council.

A spokesman for the arms-length management organisation said: "As with any new components we use on our buildings, the cladding was reviewed in line with the Department for

Communities and Local Government’s fire and building regulations.

"The cladding conforms to British Standards, current fire regulations and the building regulations 2010 in their approved Fire Safety: Document B.

"In March 2017 there was a fire risk assessment completed for St Katherine’s Court which is full and valid. All our relevant buildings have a valid fire risk assessment in place.

"They are also regularly risk assessed with the safety of our residents being the most important priority.

"We will continue to work with our partners and residents to make sure our standards for fire safety remain up to date."