CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Safety is at the heart of our work at Chalcots Estate

28 November, 2019

Chalcots Estate

• I WANT to reiterate Camden’s commitment to setting a gold standard of safety at the Chalcots Estate and throughout our council housing.

At the Chalcots we are ensuring the new cladding and windows is A1-rated, the highest safety rating available. It has always been of utmost importance to us that the voices of Chalcots’ residents are heard in decisions made about their homes. We have also always been clear that all decisions made will be based on safety.

The council has employed the country’s first director of resident safety to ensure we have people with expertise in building safety involved every step of the way in the design of the Chalcots cladding and window system.

We listened to residents about safety being their priority; the windows tilt inwards, and we have increased the distance between the nearest ledge and the window opening to 1.1m.

The “tilt-and-turn inwards windows” we propose installing are the most commonly used window type in recent residential high-rise projects in the UK and Europe because it is the safest option for people inside, outside and workers maintaining the windows.

They have a lower risk of being damaged by wind and a much lower risk of falling from the building if damaged.

We spoke to hundreds of residents who told us what is important to them about their windows and our designs reflect this feedback. The tilt-and-turn windows keep people inside safe, properly ventilate flats, minimise noise and are easier to maintain and clean.

A survey carried out by independent research company Acuity found that over 60 per cent of respondents at the Chalcots Estate were very satisfied, satisfied, with or didn’t mind the window designs.

We recently held drop-ins for residents to see the sample windows, with 174 households coming along to see them, representing a quarter of residents on the estate. The overwhelming majority said they are happy with the windows and approach to the works.

We have taken back control at the Chalcots, making the PFI arrangement history while pursuing costs from those contractors to ensure their money and not yours goes towards safety works.

We understand that the residents of the Chalcots want accountability and confidence in the process, which is why we have been engaging throughout and why we will have a clerk of works for every building overseeing every detail and working with our TRAs.

The new, direct, accountable, resident-focused, arrangement we have put in place is making a difference and helping us achieve a new standard of resident safety.

CLLR MERIC APAK
Cabinet Member for Better Homes

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