News in brief: Newham takes action over cladding

Cladding was removed from the Lumiere building, Romford Road, London (Image: Zoopla)

Newham takes action over cladding 

Newham Council has become the first local authority to prosecute successfully a building owner that failed to remove dangerous cladding from a residential high-rise in east London. 

The local authority pursued legal action against Chaplair using powers under 
the Housing Act 2004. Chaplair had failed to remove flammable cladding on the Lumiere building by the 31 March 2021 deadline imposed in an improvement notice issued by the council in September 2020.

Work eventually began in May 2021, and the dangerous cladding was removed by February 2022. 

Through its legal action, Newham successfully argued that there was no reasonable excuse for the delay. Chaplair was due to be sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 31 October 2023.

CIC celebrates milestone

The Construction Industry Council, the umbrella group for professional bodies and associations within the built environment, including APS, celebrated its 35th birthday in November. 

Graham Watts, CIC’s chief executive commented: “The fact that CIC has made it to 35 years is in itself remarkable. Most pan-sector construction or built environment organisations barely survive a decade (such as the Construction Industry Board and the Construction Confederation) and when I joined the CIC as chief executive in 1991 the headlines in Building Design that week were that the organisation was about to fold! 

“Today, we have 37 members (the highest number ever) and 18 associate members and it is a tribute to all of them that the council has not only survived but gone 
from strength to strength.”

Warning after car park collapse

A fire in a Luton Airport car park in October destroyed more than 1,400 vehicles (Image: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service)

A blaze which ripped through a car park at Luton Airport in October, leading to its partial collapse, has prompted safety warnings from fire industry experts. 

More than 1,400 vehicles were destroyed in the fire, which started on level three of Terminal Car Park 2 on 10 October 2023.

Andrew Hopkinson, chief fire officer for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, 
said there was no sprinkler system in the car park and that, had there been, it “may have had a positive impact on this incident”.

The car park, which opened four years ago, is now likely to be demolished.

A statement from the Fire Industry Association, which represents more than 1,000 fire protection companies, said it “reiterates the importance of robust fire safety measures, especially in densely populated and high-traffic areas, to mitigate the risks and impacts of fire incidents”.

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