Removal of Grenfell-type cladding from student skyrise The Summit causes disruption

By Rosie Vacciana-Browne

Students living in a tower block in Leicester where workers are removing the notorious type of cladding that was at the heart of the Grenfell disaster cannot wait for the work to be finished.

Following the horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017, that killed 72 people and left hundreds homeless, the safety of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding which covered the building has been investigated.

An inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire found that ACM cladding was the ‘primary cause of the fire spreading.’

In light of this, the Government banned the use of combustible materials in new sky-rise homes and is supporting local authorities in removing and replacing unsafe ACM cladding.

In July this year, work began on The Summit student accommodation in Eastern Boulevard, one of the tallest buildings in Leicester, managed by Student Roost, to have its ACM cladding removed.

Surprised students moving into The Summit in September found themselves facing months of disruption while the cladding is removed.

Sarah Akubia, a 3rd year student at the University of Leicester, who lives in The Summit, said: “I didn’t even know that they were taking off the cladding until me and my friend googled it. (When) we found out I was a bit shook, who’s to say anything couldn’t happen here (when) compared to the Grenfell incident, it’s quite concerning.”


Cladding being removed from The Summit, Eastern Boulevard


In a statement, Student Roost said: “It is our priority to replace ACM cladding from The Summit as soon as possible and we have extensive safety precautions in place.

“Work began in July 2019…initiating the cladding removal has been a complex process, however, we work closely with third parties, including the fire service in Leicester.”
But it isn’t just fire safety concerns that have been raised by students following the recent work.

Henry Durance, a 2nd year student at the University of Leicester, who also lives in The Summit, was troubled by the noise disturbance.

He said: “The process of getting the cladding off is quite noisy, you can’t really do anything in the building, you have to leave the accommodation to get work done at uni which is kind of annoying.”

In response to the claims of noise disruption, Student Roost said: “We have ensured disruption is kept to a minimum as much as possible while work is carried out, however, we encourage residents to speak to us if they have any concerns. Our teams are on hand 24/7 and will work with each resident to find a solution.”

The work is due to be completed in April 2020.

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