Chalcots Estate: Camden Council appoints contractor for re-cladding work as repair costs spiral to nearly £90m

Dorney tower on the Chalcots Estate. Picture: PA/David Mirzoeff

Dorney tower on the Chalcots Estate. Picture: PA/David Mirzoeff - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The cost of the work on the Chalcots Estate has rocketed to £89.6million, as Camden Council appointed a contractor to carry out vital work on the tower blocks in Swiss Cottage.

The figure was published in a council paper to appoint the contractor to carry out the work, which was rubber stamped by leader Georgia Gould at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Wates Living Space Ltd fought off nine other bidders to get the contract to reclad the towers, as well as repair the curtain wall and windows. The towers were evacuated in July 2017 in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, when the Chalcots’ cladding was found to be flammable.

Residents have faced more than a year of disruption since the discovery. This winter the council has contributed towards some tenants’ heating bills, because of a lack of insulation after the cladding has been removed.

The new cladding will be A1 rated, the highest level of fireproofing according to EU standards.

It has also emerged that work will take nearly two-and-a-half years, with the project expected to take 124 weeks. It’s believed construction will begin in the summer.

After months of battling the government, the council has secured £80.6m funding from the government’s cladding remediation fund. £17.1m has already been spent on funding the removal of the existing cladding, meaning Camden has to find £26.2m of its own money to meet the costs of the project.

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Speaking at the meeting before the decision was made, Cllr Gould said: “I thought it was important that we have this meeting to make the decision publicly. If it is approved, it will move on to the design process, and testing the new system that will be installed.”