MP condemns ongoing 'cladding scandal' at Orchard Village estate

ACM works to be confirmed

MP Jon Cruddas has slammed the 'government, building firms and manufacturers' for the ongoing cladding issues at the Orchard Village estate. - Credit: Charles Thomson

Tenants of the Orchard Village estate are victims of the ongoing "cladding scandal", MP Jon Cruddas said, as they are left in limbo waiting to hear about the full extent of potential fire safety works to their homes.

The Dagenham and Rainham representative has condemned the situation, where residents report living in fear over the risks posed by potentially flammable cladding on their building.

As reported by the Recorder earlier this month, those living in the Rainham development continue to wait for concrete details on how their housing association - Clarion - plans to repair the cladding issues.

At the time of writing, the housing association has received an initial report on in-house safety, which it says has led to the installation of enhanced fire and smoke detection systems.

However, it is still awaiting a report from independent fire safety experts to determine the full extent of the remedial works required.

Once this is received and considered, an action plan will be circulated to residents, Clarion said.

The continuing wait for clarity is one issue, but who will bear the costs of the work is another.

As the buildings at the estate are under 18 metres tall, they don't qualify for the government fund designated for the removal of unsafe cladding. 

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This means leaseholders could potentially be liable.

Clarion outlined its position in a statement released earlier this month: "No social housing resident will be asked to pay towards the remedial work and we will exhaust all other options before asking any leaseholder to make a contribution."

However, Mr Cruddas said: "The government, building firms and manufacturers share responsibility for the cladding scandal, they should bear the cost."

Insisting that leaseholders and shared owners are the "innocent ones", the MP accused the government of "reneging on promises" by not guaranteeing total protection against cladding costs.

A spokesperson for the ministry of housing, communities and local government (MHCLG) said: “For buildings below 18 metres, we have recently published expert advice that recommended EWS1 forms should no longer be needed.

“Where remediation is required, we will introduce a financing scheme so that no leaseholder will have to pay more than £50 a month for the cost of replacing unsafe cladding. 

"Further details of this scheme will be set out in due course.”