'No confidence' in Chalcots cladding plans, four years after evacuation

Procurement is ongoing for the fire safety works

Residents of the Chalcots towers have been waiting four years work on their homes in the aftermath of the dramatic 2017 evacuation - Credit: Mandy Ryan

Residents' reps on the Chalcots Estate have marked the fourth anniversary of the night they were forced to evacuate their homes by slamming Camden Council's management of the project to re-clad the towers.

The Chalcots' five blocks were evacuated on June 23 2017, and the project remains ongoing.

The council has said that, subject to receiving "compliant tenders", the contract for the work will begin in November and last between 22 and 25 months.

Camden was forced to seek a new contractor to carry out the work after pulling out of a £100m deal with Wates.

Residents during the evacuation in 2017

Chalcots' residents during the evacuation in 2017 - Credit: PA Images

In a letter to the Ham&High, Hasan Shah, Sayed Meah, Brian Morrey, Carl Perry, Anthony Royale, Nigel Rumble and Mandy Ryan said they have "no confidence" in Camden's ability to see the project through. 

Residents have also criticised plans to replace their windows and radiators, as this will involve "chaos" of work inside their flats.

The group – which includes reps from Burnham, Dorney and Bray towers on the estate – added that they have become disillusioned by Camden's approach to communication. 

The letter continues: "We have no confidence of the project plans put out by Camden Council.

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"Cllr Meric Apak, cabinet member for safer homes, claims that the council are consulting and involving residents. This is demonstrably not true. The vast majority of residents are not actively involved and do not agree with the plan.

"Camden have created so called 'task and finish' groups and Camden appointed groups that are limited in scope and time and are not allowed to question design or the execution of any part of the management of the work in the project."

The town hall disputes this. Cllr Apak said: "We want to give all residents the opportunity to be included and involved at every step."

He said there are "established resident groups" which are helping to shape "key aspects to the project", and that there is a "resident procurement panel". He said a "contract-monitoring resident group" is planned.

Cllr Apak said "live interaction is open and both ways" at these groups, and added that a resident engagement event is planned for July on the estate, subject to Covid rules. 

The housing chief said the council has "consulted extensively" on the window design, which it believes is the "best solution".