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Recladding council high rises in Cardiff set to make more progress

Work could soon begin on recladding Nelson House (left) and Loudon House in Butetown, Cardiff (Pic: Google Maps)

THE RECLADDING of more council high rise buildings in Cardiff is set to make further progress four years after a scheme to make them safer was approved.

Cardiff Council is set to bring a report before its cabinet members asking them to approve procurement arrangements for the recladding of Nelson House and Loudon House in Butetown.

Approval was given for Cardiff Council to carry out recladding on its high rise buidlings in 2020 and work on Lydstep flats in Llandaff North, which is comprised of three blocks, is expected to be completed in April 2024.

The report on the recladding work was discussed by the council’s community and adult services scrutiny committee on Monday, March 18.

Scrutiny committee member, Cllr Margaret Lewis, asked why it has taken four years for Lydstep to be completed and for the council to get to a point where the Butetown phase is only now about to begin.

Director of adults housing and communities at the council, Jane Thomas, said: “At the time, fire safety was the most important thing so we took the cladding off at that time, but also at that time it was also very difficult to make decisions because of the complexities following Grenfell about the replacement cladding and also we had to get each element as a system tested.

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“The windows and the cladding tested and those testing at the time were overun, with landlords wanting to do testing on their buildings.”

Following the Grenfell tragedy in 2017, checks were carried out on Cardiff Council’s high rise buildings.

Tests on the blocks that had been retro-fitted during the 1990s showed that the cladding used on them was not of the same, highly flammable type used on Grenfell, but they did not meet current fire safety standards.

The council’s works are being done in two phases, with phase one involving work on Lydstep (approved in 2021) and phase two involving Nelson and Loudon.

Cladding has been taken off Nelson House, but it is still in place at Loudon House.

There is currently a 24 hour waking watch in place there for residents’ safety.

Cllr Lewis asked whether some residents, who have also faced issues with damp and mould, will be compensated.

Jane Thomas said: “For Nelson House we have just had the cladding removed and we will continue to pay the utility bills.

“If any one has been particularly affected, we will continue to offer them housing.

“We haven’t has as many issues with damp and mould with Nelson House as we did with Lydstep flats.

“That is probably due to the original flat, but we do take each case individually and if there was a particular issue we would deal with that.”

The cabinet report on the recladding of Nelson House and Loudon House will be brought before cabinet members at a meeting on Thursday, March 21.