Following the disaster in West London, former long-serving Liberal Democrat Councillor Bob Sullivan contacted the Council to confirm that they are preparing to look the tower and high rise blocks in Waltham Forest and review the planning permissions already given to developers.
This review should include checking the cladding, fascias and building materials used and planned to be used.
It would seem from discussions in the media that many tower blocks built, and being built, may have cladding and other materials that are not completely fire proof.
Waltham Forest Guardian reporter Tom Barnes followed up Bob Sullivan’s request with the following report on the online version of the Guardian:
TOWER BLOCK FEARS: Waltham Forest council won’t tell us if its flats have sprinklers after Grenfell Tower fire
Concerns have been raised over the safety of Waltham Forest’s high-rise buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Campaigner Bob Sullivan is calling for a full review into fire safety at tower blocks in the borough after the blaze in west London last week, which is thought to have killed at least 79 people.
The Liberal Democrat activist and former councillor wants a probe to ensure residents in council-owned and private blocks are not as risk, as well as reviews at towers currently under construction.
Mr Sullivan said:
It is imperative that the planning permission for new blocks being built is gone over again, we need to make sure.
I have not seen anyone mention sprinklers, you would have thought it would be 100 per cent certain we should have them now.
I would have thought nobody would move into any tower block now without asking questions, I certainly wouldn’t.
I am hoping the council decides to review tower block safety, I am very concerned about Waltham Forest and we should be on the forefront of this.
We need action to do something about every block above six or eight storeys, I would even class those types of buildings as a small tower blocks.
Although several council-owned towers, such as Redwood and Hornbeam Towers in Leytonstone, have been demolished in recent years, some, like John Walsh and Fred Wigg Towers, remain standing.
A host of plans for new high-rise blocks have also been approved, including a 16-storey block in Dunedin Road, Leyton, and four blocks between 10 and 16 flights in Wickford Way, Walthamstow.
Campaigner Bob Sullivan wants action to ensure tower block safety
The catastrophic fire at 24-storey Grenfell Tower, in North Kensington, broke out at around 1am last Wednesday (June 14) and is likely to become Britain’s deadliest blaze in more than a century.
The speed at which the fire spread is believed to have aided by new cladding fitted to the building, while sprinklers had not been fitted inside the flats, despite calls from residents.
Waltham Forest council says no blocks in the borough use the same cladding as was installed at Grenfell and all high rise homes either have fire risk assessments in place or currently underway.
The local authority also confirmed sprinklers will be installed at the 10-storey Lea Bridge House hostel redevelopment in Leyton.
However, the council has not responded to requests by the Guardian to reveal how many of its blocks are fitted with sprinkler systems.
Council leader, Clare Coghill, said:
All of us were horrified to see the tragic events unfold at Grenfell Tower. Our thoughts and sympathies are with those affected by this terrible disaster.
We understand that residents of Waltham Forest will be shocked following this incident, and concerned about the safety of their own homes and properties.
We want to let residents know that their safety is always our main concern.
We are looking at what further checks may be needed in the light of recent events.
We will work with the fire brigade and our colleagues across London to implement any changes recommended after this terrible fire.
Tom Barnes posted an update on 22nd June:
Waltham Forest council confirms no sprinkler systems have been fitted in any of its tower blocks
John Walsh and Fred Wigg Towers in Leytonstone are owned by Waltham Forest council
No council-owned tower blocks in Waltham Forest are currently fitted with sprinkler systems, it has been confirmed.
Concerns have been raised over safety at high-rise blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in Kensington last week, which is now thought to have killed at least 79 people.
Do you live in one of the council blocks? Get in touch by e-mailing email@example.com or call 07795507440
Waltham Forest council has now confirmed to the Guardian none of its blocks are currently fitted with sprinkler systems.
However, the local authority said it planned to fit sprinklers in three towers used for sheltered accommodation.
A spokesman said:
Although none of our council blocks have sprinklers fitted, we have secured funding from the London Fire Brigade to install sprinklers in three sheltered blocks this year.
The catastrophic fire at 24-storey Grenfell Tower is likely to become Britain’s deadliest blaze in more than a century