Report says estimated cost to remove cladding from Portsmouth buildings is £11m

WORK to remove and replace cladding from two tower blocks has been estimated to cost the city council £10.9m.

Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 7:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 3:25 pm
Cladding being removed at Horatia House in June.

Portsmouth City Council said the works to remove the ‘fire risk’ cladding from Leamington House and Horatia House, in Somers Town, would not be completed until next February.

Council leader Donna Jones said scaffolding will be put up this week. Removal started in June.

The works to remove the cladding and provide initial fire safety measures - deemed as phase one - will cost £1.5m and the council have set up an emergency budget to cope.

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Phase two will be the re-cladding of both blocks and is set to cost significantly more at £9.4m.

Cllr Jones said: ‘The figures in the report are estimations only.

‘We have carried out a structural survey on the scaffolding we need to put up around the building to remove the high level cladding.

‘The £10.9m is the estimated cost for the removing and the replacement for the new structure. These are very, very rough estimates.’

Cllr Jones said the council had to draw up the costs as they are looking to the government to pay for the works.

‘We have been in communication with the government about this work and there have been several letters since the terrible fire at Grenfell,’ she added.

‘Two weeks ago the Department for Communities and Local Government came back to us asking us to fill in a very specific form.

‘In it, we had to detail estimations of costs for scaffolding, engineering repairs, removing the cladding, making the building resistant to weather and the replacement cladding.

‘We are awaiting a response to the request of the money.’

A contractor will be appointed to carry out the phase two works once the extent of the work required has been established and the first phase has been completed.

Earlier this summer, Cllr Jones said she was confident the DCLG would fund the costs.

The blocks are currently home to 600 residents who are protected by 24-hour fire marshals.

Testing started in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, with many tower blocks across the country reported as having similar ‘fire risk’ cladding.

Firefighters have called for sprinklers to be fitted.

As previously reported, an examination of samples from Harding House and Ockendon House, in High Street, Cosham, and Southdown View, in Military Road, Hilsea, revealed the buildings’ cladding was a fire risk.

Vivid Homes owns all three buildings.