Chalcots residents begin phased return

Latest update 13 July 2017 5pm 

A phased return to the Chalcots estate is getting underway. Safety works on 10 floors and across two blocks have now been signed off by building control officers in consultation with the London Fire Brigade.

Residents of Burnham, from Ground to 7th floor and Bray, from Ground to 5th, are being contacted by housing officers today and told they can go home.

The return home will be done on a floor-by-floor basis, starting from the ground floors up, as advised by the London Fire Brigade.

Cllr Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said:

“We have now carried out the urgent works needed so that some residents of the Chalcots can start going home after what has been an extremely distressing time.

“We will go over and above these works to enhance safety measures, but the London Fire Brigade have informed us that they are content that sufficient progress has been made to allow a phased return home for residents.

“The ongoing reoccupation of the blocks will be dependent on the completion of works to each floor of the buildings, from the lower floors up to the top. We’ll be in touch with residents to let them know when they can go home.”

“Hundreds of council staff, contractors, volunteers and partners from the Fire Brigade and other local authorities have helped to make this happen as quickly as possible.

“I would like to thank residents again for bearing with us throughout this operation and for playing their part in helping us get to this point. I would also like to thank the Fire Brigade. whose advice we have followed throughout.

“We’ll continue to work relentlessly, floor by floor, until the works the fire brigade have specified are completed.”

A spokesperson from the London Fire Brigade, said:

“Our highly trained Inspecting Officers, have been working very closely with Camden Council since it was discovered that essential works were required in these four buildings on the Chalcots Estate. We subsequently agreed a list of works required which would improve the general fire precautions in the building such as to mitigate the risks from fire.

"There will be further work to undertake but the Brigade is content that sufficient progress has been made to allow a phased re-occupation of the buildings. The phasing of the re-occupation will be dependant on the completion of works to each floor of the buildings, starting with the lower floors.” 

Redbridge Council and Lambeth Council building control teams have been supporting Camden officers, helping to check and benchmark the urgent works which have allowed us to advise a return.

Family outreach and social work teams will be on hand to help residents move where this is needed and help will be provided with transport and moving possessions.

The Council’s fire warden service will continue patrols on the estate.

Works on all floors of each block are scheduled to be completed by 24th July and residents will be able to move in floor by floor as works continue. The detailed work plan for the Chalcots is available here  and was last updated on Friday 14 July at 5pm .

Beyond the 24th July, additional works, including door replacement, will be carried out to achieve a higher standard of safety, providing 60 minutes of fire-resistance. Residents will receive a fire blanket when they return home and PAT testing will continue.

The package of works agreed with the fire service to make sure that the blocks at Chalcots meet the required fire safety requirements, and to allow a phased return home, is set out below:

  • Communal area fire doors - Assess each door and assess the need to upgrade or replace, this could include works such as fitting seals.
  • Flat entrance doors - Fitting overhead door closers to all doors and checking the suitability of the door, repairing or replacing as necessary
  • Stairwell doors - Fitting smoke seals or strips to door edges and making sure doors fit properly
  • Make sure that compartmentation is maintained, e.g. fire stopping of services where pipework or cables pass between communal areas and dwellings
  • Assessment of basement and garage areas to make sure compartmentation and fire stopping is sufficient
  • Assess ventilation grilles and make sure Automatic Opening Vents are working properly, carrying out any repairs that are required