Fire marshals to patrol Waterfront block 24/7 and balconies could be removed
- Credit: ARCHANT
A Waterfront building has been put under 24-hour watch after fire safety defects were uncovered there.
51 Patteson Road, one of five blocks affected by cladding problems at the Orwell Quay development near Aurora in Ipswich, now has a ‘waking watch’ installed - which means workers are on standby to evacuate in the event of a fire.
EWS, the building’s managing agents, says the fire marshals will only be in place until a fire alarm system is able to be fitted at the end of July.
Balconies may also need to be removed during the upcoming cladding repairs set to take place from August onwards, bosses have confirmed.
EWS chiefs said leaseholders and tenants will be informed nearer the time if it will be necessary to take balconies off, adding that they will be reinstated once the repairs are complete.
It comes after this newspaper revealed the scale of fire safety issues at the five blocks, which include timber balconies, lack of fire-stopping material between walls, plus defects with terracotta cladding and insulation.
EWS bosses say the waking watch was recommended by the most recent fire risk assessment at Orwell Quay.
“The safety of leaseholders and residents at Orwell Quay is paramount to EWS,” they added. “EWS have been working closely with, and advising the directors of owners Orwell Quay Ipswich Management Company Ltd (OQMC) following investigations into the cladding at the development which identified deficiencies.
“The most recent fire risk assessment for the blocks at Orwell Quay recommended putting in place a waking watch for 51 Patteson Road, until such time a fire alarm can be installed.
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They added: “Work to install the fire alarm is ongoing and is due to be completed by the end of July.
“The original developer has informed us they will meet the cost of both the waking watch and fire alarm system.”
Of five newly inspected blocks near Aurora, at Orwell Quay, three are not eligible for Government funding - but it is understood that Persimmon, the developer, has agreed to pay for the repairs.
Despite this, flat owners are impacted by soaring insurance costs which have been passed onto them until funding is in place - which works out at around £750 per apartment.
Buy-to-let owner Terry Colthorpe branded the charges “excessive” and said someone needed to be held accountable for the cladding problems.
A Persimmon spokeswoman said they have been working closely with EWS and providing practical and financial support to “ensure the ongoing safety of residents at Orwell Quay”.
She added: “We don’t believe that leaseholders should have to pay for banned cladding removal or any safety issues from the original development that now need addressing.”
- Read more coverage of the cladding crisis on the Archant Investigations Unit Facebook page