Queensway House still not fully fireproof

Queensway House. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

Queensway House. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin - Credit: Archant

Five fire doors that failed government safety tests have yet to be replaced in a council-owned residential tower block in Hatfield.

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council told this newspaper in September 2020 that they were committed to upgrading the fire doors in Queensway House, the 13-storey tower block comprising 66 flats.

The previous fire doors only offer protection from fire for 24 minutes, instead of the required 30 minutes, which failed new government tests after the Grenfell disaster.

However, the council said that the programme to replace the fire doors is still "ongoing", after a year and three months.

The five remaining doors a haven't been replaced "due to issues gaining access" but the council is "working with the residents concerned to resolve this".

Cladding - which wasn't the same type as Grenfell - was removed from the block in Spring 2021.

It comes as Michael Gove warns developers they must pay to fix the cladding crisis that they caused by early March this year.

WHBC don't have a date for when the work will be finished, nor do they have a date for when the building will be demolished.

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A spokesperson said: "We are still working with the tenants and leaseholders (residential and commercial) to vacate the building. Once it is fully vacated, we will programme the demolition.

Queensway House, Hatfield. Picture: DANNY LOO

Queensway House, Hatfield. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

"We visit the block on a weekly basis to ensure that the safety measures in place are suitable and working until we can get the last few fire doors completed.

They added: "We are taking all possible steps to maximise the building’s fire safety and respond to updated advice. 

"We are in regular discussions with the Fire Service regarding fire safety at the block and we continue to provide a waking watch while the block still has residents living there.

"The council are committed to carrying out recommended works to ensure Queensway House complies with standards and will continue to do so until all the residents have been transferred into accommodation that suits their needs in preparation for the block’s demolition and redevelopment."