Removing cladding from Portsmouth tower blocks ‘will cost millions’

Cladding being removed from Horatia House and Leamington House on Friday evening. 

Picture: Sarah Standing
Cladding being removed from Horatia House and Leamington House on Friday evening. Picture: Sarah Standing
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Removing cladding from two tower blocks in Portsmouth is expected to ‘cost millions’ of pounds, the city council’s leader has said.

Councillor Donna Jones said she did not know exactly how much the work will cost to take away the material from Horatia House and Leamington House in Somers Town.

Neil Odin, deputy chief officer speaking at the meeting at the New Theatre Royal last night. Picture: Sarah Standing

Neil Odin, deputy chief officer speaking at the meeting at the New Theatre Royal last night. Picture: Sarah Standing

Work to remove cladding started on Friday after test results showed it was a potential fire risk.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, Cllr Jones said: ‘I really do not know how much it will cost at the moment. We are working on that right now.’

She added that it would cost ‘millions’ rather than ‘hundreds of thousands’.

Scaffolding has been put up on the two high rises while the council looks for cherry pickers and scissor lifts which can reach up to 18 storeys - the height of the two buildings.

I really do not know how much it will cost at the moment. We are working on that right now.

Councillor Donna Jones

They are expected to be in use within a ‘couple of weeks’.

The leaders comments came after residents living in the tower blocks attended a public meeting organised by Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire Fire and Rescue last night.

The council wanted to reassure residents and answer their questions about the cladding removal.

It is not known how long it will take for the cladding to be removed, but the city council’s asset manager Steve Groves said it could ‘take months.’

Councillor Donna Jones said the work to remove cladding would cost 'millions'.

Councillor Donna Jones said the work to remove cladding would cost 'millions'.

Earlier this week Cllr Jones said she would be asking the government to cover the cost of the cladding work.