Chalcots residents express concerns over council’s plans to remove insulation

Camden council's decision to remove insulation has received criticism

Camden council's decision to remove insulation has received criticism - Credit: Archant

Camden council’s decision to remove cladding as well as the insulation from the Chalcots estate has been met with concern and left residents with more questions than answers.

In a letter, the council said they would be carrying out works in preperation to take down cladding which has failed safety checks but would also be removing the Rockwool insulation.

However tenants believe that losing the protection of insulation will lead to a host of potential consequences including damp, mould, and rising heating bills.

Nigel Rumble, a Chalcots resident, and a member of the Burnham tenants resident association, says that the Rockwool insulation is completely non-combustable and has challenged Cllr Georgia Gould to reconsider her’s and the council’s decision to remove the Rockwool.

“There is no reason to take this down. It’s totally safe. It does not burn. It’s like glass. I have spoken to Dr Gordon Cooke, a fire safety consultant, and he says that Rockwool is what sets the Chalcots apart from Grenfell.

“And as soon as people get dampness, the magnitude for distress will be far greater.”

Simon Happily, another Chalcots resident believes the council owes the residents an explantion of their intentions. “There is no sensible reason to bring this insulation down. It will just increase noise, disruption, costs, and time. They haven’t explained why they are doing this and I just don’t see the logic. They have taken so long over the removal of this cladding that I am quite thrown as to why they have made this decision.”

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The council will initially be removing the cladding system from the bottom two floors of the Blashford and Burnham blocks so that a specialist team can assess the removal process on the week of September 4, which they aim to start properly in October.

Cllr Gould said: “The government have carried out full cladding system combustibility tests but they are not yet in a positon to provide any guidance on what new materials or products to use. We await this advice but we have decided that it would be wrong to wait any longer to remove the cladding.

“The safety of our residents is our absolute priority and we’ll do all we can to get this job done as quickly and safely as possible.”