Camden name GRAHAM group as new Blashford contractor for Chalcots work

Blashford tower on the Chalcots Estate in Camden before its cladding was removed

Blashford tower on the Chalcots Estate in Camden before its cladding was removed - Credit: PA

Camden Council has named the contractor it has chosen to take over the project to re-clad Blashford Tower in the Chalcots Estate.

GRAHAM construction will now begin what the town hall has described as a "two-stage process", beginning work with Camden to set out its proposals in September. 

The council said construction works to replace the removed cladding, carry out other fire safety works, and replace windows will take place between July 2022 and December 2023.

The cladding was removed following the June 2017 evacuation of the estate, which came about when Camden were told by London Fire Brigade that the buildings may not be safe in the days after the Grenfell Tower fire.

The town hall said the contractor will source materials, set up the site and carry out the works in that timeframe. 

Across the estate, there has been unrest and upset at both the delays to Camden's plans to re-clad the five towers, and at the manner in which residents have been consulted. 

Just last week, a group living in the Chalcots wrote in a letter that there had been "unchecked project creep" when it came to the major works programme. One of the signatories was Casey Oppong, chair of the Blashford tenants and residents' association (TRA). 

The letter continued: "We are all tired and stressed and want our lives back without so much devastating change."

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Cllr Meric Apak, Camden's housing chief, said: "This is a significant step forward in delivering a new standard of resident safety for the Chalcots and I am pleased that we have reached this important milestone for Blashford with the appointment of GRAHAM.

"I share the disappointment that residents have felt about delays and so I know that they too will be pleased of this appointment and to see works getting underway."

Cllr Apak thanked residents, including the Blashford TRA for playing a "vital role".

The tendering process for Blashford was conducted separately to that of the other four towers as, Camden said, this would enable work to begin sooner than would otherwise be possible. 

A decision on who to award the contract for Bray, Burnham, Taplow and Dorney will be made on October 28, according to the council's "forward plan". The successful contractor will then be named shortly afterwards.

Camden was forced to retender for the fire safety works on the estate after pulling out of a deal with Wates, saying the plans the firm delivered were not what had been asked for.