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Two Suffolk buildings have cladding that does not meet fire standards

PUBLISHED: 17:50 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 22:12 11 October 2017

Firefighters have taken part in exercises at high-rise blocks like  Cumberland Towers in Ipswich. Picture PAUL GEATER

Firefighters have taken part in exercises at high-rise blocks like Cumberland Towers in Ipswich. Picture PAUL GEATER


Two buildings in Suffolk have cladding that does not meet the new fire standards that were brought in after the Grenfell Tower disaster in June, county councillors will hear next week.

The Ipaxis development in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT The Ipaxis development in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

But neither are causing great concern because of other factors surrounding them.

One is IpAxis, flats that were built on Wolsey Street in Ipswich about 10 years ago. The four-storey block is not considered to be a high-rise building because it is less than 18 metres tall – and it has many other fire safety measures.

The other building with cladding is East Coast College in Lowestoft. That is not a residential building and therefore is not considered as much of a risk because if fire broke out anyone inside would be expected to be awake and should be able to leave reasonably quickly.

A Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “The Department of Community and Local Government (DCLG), through National Fire Chiefs Council, notified us that East Coast College had failed cladding testing. Our role as a fire service is to give advice and guidance to owners or the person responsible for the property.

“The responsibility for the safety of the building lies with the owners and they are working in accordance with DCLG guidance.”

The details of the buildings are included in a report to be given to next week’s meeting of the full county council by cabinet member for public protection Matthew Hicks.

It says a full fire safety audit has been carried out at these buildings.

Mr Hicks’ report says: “We identified 118 residential high rise premises with 112 classed as private residential and another six being either hotels or hospital buildings. These inspections have now been completed.”

The fire service had undertaken specially-arranged exercises at high-rise buildings to familiarise themselves further with any issues they might find there – and to provide reassurance to residents in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Mr Hicks’ report says: “Serious incidents in high rise buildings can be complex and challenging.Firefighters have recently undertaken training exercises involving high rise premises within Suffolk, to both practice the procedures and also familiarise themselves with the premises.”

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