New group working to prevent a disaster like Grenfell ever happening in Falkirk's high rise flats

Residents of Falkirk’s high rise flats now have access to a new group which aims to give them a voice when it comes to safety issues and other matters related to their properties.

By James Trimble
Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 9:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 11:32 am

The Falkirk area has 13 high rise blocks of flats housing a total of 1120 dwellings and all of them can now become part of the Edinburgh-based High Rise Scotland Action Group (HRSAG), which hopes to give “new voice and new ears” to those affected by ineffective action in relation to high rise dwellings.

According to HRSAG, the combination of Scottish law and UK law has had the effect of leaving the owners of a property, collectively, responsible for investigating and if required, removing any combustible material incorporated in or attached to their external wall system.

This would of course include aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding – such as that in the Grenfell Tower fire which resulted in a horrific loss of life three years ago.

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Residents of Falkirk's famous High Flats will be able to access the new High Rise Scotland Action Group (HRSAG) if they have any concerns regarding their properties

HRSAG states thousands of residents and owners in Scotland are still having to live in fear due to safety concerns, as well as being stuck with properties that are not saleable due to lenders not being prepared to lend on high rise or high-risk properties.

Chris Ashurst, HRSAG group co-ordinator, said: “We know from personal experience the fear and stress this ongoing doubt causes and it is time all those affected urgently work together to ensure real reform.”

The Scottish government has already identified there are 774 residential buildings above 18 metres and the criteria for consideration of potential risk has been amended so any residential building over 11 metres should be considered, which has increased numbers dramatically.

Mr Ashurst added: “We recently gave evidence to the Local Government and Communities Committee of the Scottish Parliament, and we want to hear from others who have been affected by these issues so we can understand the full extent of the problems faced and provide a clear voice for these ignored communities to campaign for meaningful change to our lives.”

Any residents, owners or owners associations of affected properties can get in contact by e-mailing [email protected] or logging onto www.facebook.com/groups/HRSCAG.