Council reassures residents about Hatfield’s high-rise buildings following Grenfell Tower tragedy

PUBLISHED: 15:26 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:21 27 June 2017

Queensway House in Hatfield after the refurbishment in 2012, during which cladding was installed

Queensway House in Hatfield after the refurbishment in 2012, during which cladding was installed

Danny Loo Photography 2016

The borough council has moved to reassure Hatfield residents that the town’s high-rise buildings are safe following Wednesday’s Grenfell Tower fire.

Queensway House in Hatfield before the 2012 refurbishmentQueensway House in Hatfield before the 2012 refurbishment

Hatfield town centre homes the borough’s two high-rise buildings – Queensway House, above Hatfield Library and Goldings House, near the Link Drive car park.

The borough council has conducted safety assessments following the tragedy in Kensington, where a fire ripped through the tower and killed 30 people – a toll that is expected to rise.

Although no theories have been confirmed, many have speculated that cladding installed during a recent renovation at Grenfell may have exacerbated the blaze, sparking fears of similar vulnerability in other high-rise buildings.

Queensway House – which has 66 flats, the majority of which are one-bedroom – underwent a refurbishment in 2012, during which cladding was installed.

However, a council spokeswoman said: “Current media reports indicate the cladding material and its installation may have been a factor in the Grenfell Tower fire.

“We have received confirmation from the refurbishment contractor for Queensway House that the cladding and insulation system used is not the same as that used on Grenfell Tower.”

Cladding is used in part to insulate buildings, and also to improve their appearance.

Regarding Goldings House, which is managed by Paradigm Housing, she also confirmed that the building is of “brick-built construction” and there are no cladding or insulation systems.

A Paradigm spokesman added: “Goldings House is manned 24 hours a day by on-site staff and daily patrols of communal areas take place to make sure they are clear of obstructions in the event an evacuation is required.

“During the night, security staff patrol all floors every two hours. We have CCTV covering all communal areas for security purposes.”

Hertfordshire’s fire service also released a statement claiming that living in a flat is no more dangerous than a house, and pointed residents wanting more information towards the London Fire Bridgade’s website http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/

The borough council’s spokeswoman encouraged any residents with concerns to contact Hatfield Housing Office on 01707 357088 or by emailing hatfield.housing@welhat.gov.uk.


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