Fire safety Press releases

Fire safety update

We've been working with government and the fire service to re-review our buildings in light of what happened at Grenfell Tower. 

We’ve had Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service and Portsmouth City Council to meet with us at our Southdown View and Harding House Building in Portsmouth to support our thorough review of fire safety arrangements and standards. This confirmed that both properties are safe for residents to stay in with all the existing safety measures in place. 

We’ll be removing the cladding at both these sites as the cladding samples didn’t pass the Building Research Establishment test, and will do the same at Ockendon House which has the same type of cladding. Cladding will be removed in a managed way once we have been able to find a cladding solution and resource specialist contractors.

The safety of residents in all our homes remains our top priority, and we have written and are in the process of speaking to everyone in these three properties to explain our course of action and to answer any concerns. 

It can be confirmed the properties meet Building Regulations and we are putting in place a number of extra safety measures. This includes:

•    Putting 24/7 safety patrols in the buildings to ensure fire exits and communal areas remain free of obstacles and fire hazards
•    Offering to test the safety of electrical appliances in all apartments 
•    We’ve set up a dedicated phoneline and email address to offer advice and address any concerns residents may have. 

We will continue to keep residents updated. Our priority is to ensure safety, provide reassurance and make plans to remove the cladding.

In accordance with the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) definition of high-rise (six storeys or above and over 18m tall), none of our other properties are affected that meet these criteria.