Cladding protest after fire at New Providence Wharf in east London

·2-min read
 (Harry Scoffin)
(Harry Scoffin)

Homeowners have protested against the cladding crisis in the wake of the New Providence Wharf fire.

Residents living in flats with ACM cladding gathered in Isle of Dogs, east London, on Saturday to urge the government to protect leaseholders from post-Grenfell remediation bills.

Protesters held placards while chanting “enough is enough”. Police were also seen at the protest.

The demonstration comes after a fire at New Providence Wharf left more than 40 people needing treatment and two men hospitalised.

Harry Scoffin
Harry Scoffin

The tower block, which has Grenfell Tower-style cladding, caught fire on part of the eighth, ninth and 10th floors.

The London Fire Brigade managed to bring the blaze under control by about 11.30am on Friday.

The building features combustible panels on approximately 22 per cent of the façade.

Speaking at today’s protest, Harry Scoffin, a campaigner and protest organiser, said what happened at New Providence Wharf was “totally avoidable”.

“The protest is taking place off the backdrop of that horrific fire that was totally avoidable because this issue of cladding was known shortly after the Grenfell Tower fire,” he said.

The protest comes after years of complaints from those who have been fighting to have the cladding removed and against the mounting costs faced by leaseholders.

Harry Scoffin
Harry Scoffin
Harry Scoffin
Harry Scoffin

According to the Guardian, developer Ballymore, told residents the cost of fixing the complex had risen to £11.6 million.

The Government has said it will cover up to £8m to remove flammable cladding from blocks at New Providence Wharf.

The publication reported that Ballymore has consistently said it will only contribute £500,000, leaving leaseholders with a £3.1 million bill.

The Standard has approached Ballymore for comment.

Harry Scoffin
Harry Scoffin

Mr Scoffin says he hopes the protest will prompt “immediate action” from the government, in a bid to change the outcomes for leaseholders who could potentially face bankruptcies in the future.

“What we need is the government to change its policy,” he said.

“People literally don’t have the money so we’re looking at mass bankruptcies unless there is some sort of last-minute intervention and that’s what this protest is about.

“It’s really about bringing leaseholders together and keeping the pressure on the government.

“If there’s a political will, it can be done.”

Local MP Apsana Begum, who was also at the protest, said she hopes the government hears their message “loud and clear.

“We’re here to send a message loud and clear to the government...leaseholders should not have to pay for the cost of remediation works,” she said, adding: “This must stop now.”

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