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Multi-million pound investment in Butetown high-rise flats

PLANS for a £25m investment in two blocks of flats in the city are in the pipeline as part of the council’s high-rise recladding scheme.

Nelson House and Loudoun House in Butetown are the next of the Council’s blocks to undergo recladding and improvement works in phase two of the programme.

Cladding was removed from five Council high rise blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. While the retro-fitted, external cladding on the Council’s high rise blocks was not the same as the highly flammable ACM-type that was used at Grenfell, it did not meet current fire safety standards and therefore could pose additional risk during a fire.

Cladding was not removed from Loudoun House at that time as the building was considered lower risk with two stairwells and a 24/7 fire watch, which remains in place.

As recladding and improvement works, including new windows and balconies, at the three blocks at Lydstep Flats are nearing completion proposals for the second phase of the project at Nelson House and Loudoun House are now being brought forward and will be considered by Cabinet at its next meeting on Thursday March 21.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said, “The safety of residents in our high rise flats is of paramount importance and while the recladding scheme at Lydstep Flats took longer than we expected for various reasons, the result has been worth the wait with cladding of the highest level of fire safety, improved thermal efficiency for residents, and the upgraded appearance of the three blocks which enhances the local surroundings.

“We’ve learned some lessons along the way and will be utilising that knowledge as we begin the process for Nelson and Loudoun Houses.”

The scope of the works include the removal of cladding from Loudoun House, the installation of a new cladding system to both blocks, new windows, a replacement roof covering of the concierge block and some boiler replacements and gas works.

As part of the construction, the new cladding system will be fire tested to give assurance that the intended products and systems are safe for use. Residents of the 181 flats across the two blocks will be involved at all stages as the scheme develops, including in the final choice of cladding design.

Cabinet is recommended to approve the proposed procurement route for the over cladding of Nelson House and Loudoun House and agree the commencement of the procurement process. The Council aims to appoint a contractor before the end of this year with construction expected to begin in January 2026.

Ahead of that meeting on March 21, Community & Adult Services Scrutiny Committee will discuss the proposals at its meeting on Monday, March 18 at 4.30pm at County Hall.