'Trapped in unsafe homes': Cladding rally to take place in Ipswich

Ipswich Cladiators' spokesman Alex Dickin and Rishi Sunak

Ipswich Cladiators' spokesman Alex Dickin is angry at Rishi Sunak for not allocating more money to help leaseholders in the wake of the cladding crisis. - Credit: PA/Sarah Lucy Brown/ CHARLOTTE BOND

Ipswich leaseholders disappointed by the government's ongoing handling of the cladding crisis will rally this weekend in a call for further action.

Ipswich Cladiators campaign group has spoken out following the autumn budget critical of the response to remove "dangerous cladding" at seven buildings in the town.

The buildings with no government support include parts of the Orwell Quay complex behind Aurora and the five-storey Ipaxis development in Wolsey Street, near Cineworld.

Rishi Sunak confirmed £5billion would be set aside for unsafe cladding removal on the “highest risk buildings”, which covers only 12 high rises in Ipswich. 

The Chancellor announced a 4 per cent levy on large construction firms would be to create the fund. 

This is despite an estimated £15billion needed to fix the crisis by the housing, communities and local government select committee.

Alex Dickin, of Ipswich Cladiators, at the building safety rally in London

Alex Dickin, of Ipswich Cladiators, at a building safety rally in London - Credit: IPSWICH CLADIATORS

Ipswich Cladiators' spokesman Alex Dickin said the group was "not impressed" by Mr Sunak's announcement, having made the announcement around the funding earlier this year. 

Mr Dickin said: "We are in exactly the same position as the day before the budget." 

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He added the announcement left out the seven medium rises in Ipswich and did not address the other fire safety defects that buildings have been found to have in the wake of Grenfell. 

Cardinal Lofts, Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The upper floors of Cardinal Lofts in Ipswich were found to have combustible material by fire experts. - Credit: Archant

"My flat in Cardinal Lofts is facing costs of other historic fire safety issues including replacing wooden balconies, vents, fire doors, and insulation," he added. 

"These costs alone will bankrupt us."

The 28-year-old added his life with his girlfriend is "on hold" and the couple cannot take steps such as buying a house. 

He has looked into renting the property out but was told by his mortgage lender this would not be possible due to safety concerns. 

"We are trapped in our properties," he added. "It's our investments, pensions and life savings that are gone.

"We are feeling stressed by the lack of action and the ownership of our properties."

His property is now valued at £0. 

The rally is on Saturday, October 30, at 11am at Ipswich Waterfront near the University of Suffolk and is part of a National Day of Action that will see groups of homeowners and residents affected by dangerous cladding and other fire safety defects hold events across the UK.

A spokesman for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities said: "It is unacceptable and unfair that leaseholders are facing excessive bills. Building owners and industry must make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders.

"The new Secretary of State is looking afresh at this issue to make sure everything is being done to protect and support leaseholders, and further details will be set out in due course."

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