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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Private landlords and developers urged to check cladding after Grenfell Tower fire

Council chiefs are urging all private landlords and developers to check the cladding on any buildings they own in Plymouth following the horrendous Grenfell Tower fire in London last month.

The advice comes after a local businesswoman, protesting at plans to build a block of student flats near Plymouth University, said all such major developments should go back to planners to ensure they are safe, and will not feature combustible cladding.

A Plymouth City Council spokesman highlighted the fact that the government has now extended the same checks as used for social housing to privately owned properties of at least 18m in height.

He said: “Developers and landlords should ensure any Aluminium Composite Material cladding on their property is checked.”

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, all potential developments should be looked at and reviewed, according to local businessman Ray Sparrow.

Speaking to The Herald newspaper, he said: “It's not just cladding, but general safety. Have they the right fire precautions inside as well as outside, like sprinkler systems.

“This is the right time to start asking these questions.”

However, Plymouth City Council stressed all building plans already passed by the authority must have satisfied planners on safety grounds.

A council spokesman said: “Any new building must satisfy all relevant building regulations, which include fire safety provisions.

“These have to be checked by local authority building control or an approved inspector before it can be occupied.

“Any block not meeting the relevant standards would not be approved.

“All developers are advised to be conscious of any new information and guidance relating to cladding materials that may come from the Government, which has extended the same checking and testing approach it has used for social housing to privately owned properties of 18m and above.

“Developers and landlords should therefore ensure that any Aluminium Composite Material cladding on their property is checked.”

He added: “The council's building control service regularly advises developers about all regulations during the plan check stage and construction.” 

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