"Lies" were told about the flammability of cladding in an Ipswich apartment block, a court has been told.

Edward Ottley, a property director of Home from Home Property Management, is on trial for allegedly failing to comply with fire safety requirements.

On Thursday, a fire risk assessment expert giving evidence said he was assured by a representative of Home from Home Property Management the cladding in the Ipaxis building on Wolsey Street had passed flammability tests - when it had failed.

Graham Joy, director of the fire risk assessment company South Norfolk Fire, said Stuart Scott, the Home from Home representative overseeing the building, "lied" to him about the cladding which was deemed “highly flammable”.

Ipswich Star: The cladding was deemed highly flammableThe cladding was deemed highly flammable (Image: Archant)

Mr Joy was hired to assess the building in December 2017, but said Mr Scott never informed him about test results they had got in July from the Building Research Establishment which found the cladding was a “category three failure”.

Government guidance explains that “category three cladding presents a significant fire hazard”.

According to Mr Joy, Mr Scott said a company called Tenos were testing the material and the results had not come through yet.

Mr Joy told the court he asked Mr Scott several times to give him the Tenos results but was told they were still pending, and he wrote up two risk assessments on the basis that Mr Scott had previously told him the cladding had passed.

The court heard the Tenos results actually came through on 15 January 2018, but Mr Joy said he was never informed of this.

He said the first time he was aware of the results was on 23 April 2019. He said: “I remember it well. I was with Mr Scott and we were driving through Ipswich.

“We had a conversation and the issue of the cladding test results arose, I still hadn’t got them. He told me the test had failed. I said, ‘but you told me they had passed’.

“At that point I was angry and amazed. I was very, very cross.”

Following this, Mr Joy told the company his risk assessments were invalid, cut communication and urged them to address the issue. 

Ottely, of Pownall Road, Ipswich, was representing himself and put it to Mr Joy that he should have questioned Tenos or the Building Research Establishment himself, rather than relying on Mr Scott’s word.

Mr Joy replied that it would be "unprofessional" to request this information behind the company's back. 

The trial continues at Colchester Magistrates' Court.