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Gwynedd North Wales Politics

Cladding at Victoria Dock, Caernarfon, recommended to be removed

Cyngor Gwynedd

AN “ISSUE WITH THE CLADDING” on a prestigious waterfront apartment complex has been identified and fire chiefs are recommending it be removed. The North Wales Fire & Rescue Service confirmed it is working with residents and authorities at the Doc Fictoria complex in Caernarfon.

Dave Hughes, Head of Fire Safety and West Area, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “An issue with the cladding at the Victoria Dock, Caernarfon has been raised and removal has been advised. We continue to work with the residents group and authorities to resolve the outstanding issues to keep people safe.”

Work to replace it could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and the issue could affect scores of residents. The fire service confirmed that the cladding issues raised are related “to the residential area” of the development.

The scale of the “cladding crisis”, which has affected high and medium rise apartment buildings across the UK, was uncovered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Seventy two people perished after a blaze swept through the London tower block on June 14, 2017.

Combustible cladding played a role in allowing the fire to spread and an inquiry report into the fire won’t be published until 2024.

The raising of safety concerns about the material used to clad the apartments on the banks of the Menai Strait have been revealed as the sixth anniversary of Grenfell disaster approaches.

The Doc Victoria residential, leisure and commercial development was completed on the Caernarfon waterfront in 2008 by contractors Watkin Jones. A spokesperson for the group said: “”Watkin Jones are actively tackling cladding re mediation across our legacy portfolio and working with clients and residents to ensure all buildings we are responsible for are safe.

“In the case of Doc Victoria, Caernarfon, we are actively working with the building owner’s management company, Residential Management Group Ltd, to establish and undertake any remedial scheme required.”

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government agreed a new scheme with developers to tackle fire safety defects in medium and high-rise residential buildings after Grenfell.

Interest-free loans are being offered to developers in Wales who sign up to an agreement to adapt affected buildings.

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The Welsh Government has also agreed to a fire safety deal with developers and says it is committed to tackling ‘orphan buildings’ – privately owned buildings where a developer is unknown or has ceased trading.