Woolwich tower balcony cladding found to be in danger of falling off at Royal Arsenal site

Plans have been submitted to repair balconies at two towers in Woolwich after balcony cladding was found to be unsafe.

An application reveals failure of the cladding system at Cadet House and Naval House, Victory Parade, Woolwich.

These are two Berkeley Homes blocks at the Royal Arsenal site, located above Marks & Spencer which is now covered in scaffolding.

A safety audit by Arup reveals “The investigation has advised against a like-for-like replacement due to serious safety concerns about the existing system.

Towers to rear. Unsuitable materials on local streets alongside unsuitable materials on buildings

A study looked at four alternative brick cladding and found none were suitable for balconies.

The planning application notes: “Following recent inspections of the existing brick slip cladding material attached to a number of the external balconies of Cadet House and Naval House, it has been confirmed this cladding approach has failed to attach to the external edge of the balconies and needs to be replaced”.

The buildings were completed in 2017.

Affected buildings

Instead, aluminium panels will now be installed.

For now, the base of some buildings are covered in scaffolding to protect pedestrians from falling debris.

Cladding failures

Flammable cladding has been much covered in the news since Grenfell, but will cladding falling off buildings be the next big issue?

In recent months I covered failures in a number of areas at a tower in Deptford barely two years old:

Cladding has fallen off in a number of places

That too has seen scaffolding erected to prevent debris hitting people.

Questions will again be raised about safety standards and sufficient testing of materials used by developers across the country.

It’ll also be interesting to see who foots the bill, given the ongoing issues over flammable cladding.

Planning documents related to this issue can be seen here.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

2 thoughts on “Woolwich tower balcony cladding found to be in danger of falling off at Royal Arsenal site

  • I hope the unsafe cladding needs to be removed from these buildings as soon as possible. This work needs to be allocated as a priority to make these buildings safe for both residents and pedestrians.

  • Who foots the bill should not be in contention. The residents did not consent to live in a potentially dangerous structure and had no knowledge of the shoddy materials and bean counting of the developers and their financers.


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