Council housing: Delayed project to replace cladding on Falkirk high-rise will go ahead
A £3 million project to improve Falkirk’s high-rise tower blocks has been delayed by over two years because of the pandemic.
Falkirk Council revealed in September 2019 it was going to replace the cladding on Glenfuir Court at a cost of £1 million, while new smoke and heat detectors in all of the town’s high flats would be replaced in a £2 million project.
The local authority had delayed the work starting on the 30-year-old cladding until they knew the outcome of the Scottish Government’s inquiry into fire safety following the tragic blaze at Grenfell Tower which claimed 72 lives in 2017.
All of Falkirk’s high rise flats, most of which are home to elderly residents, were checked in the aftermath of the disaster and found to meet safety standards.
But the Scottish Government enquiry imposed even stricter fire safety rules on all high rise buildings, particularly new builds, which came into force on October 1, 2019.
A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “All of Falkirk’s high rise flats were checked in the aftermath of the Grenfell disaster and found to meet safety standards. However, we continually review this on a regular basis as advice and regulations evolve or change.
“The planned work at Glenfuir Court is part of the Councils ongoing upgrading programme to all properties to provide better insulated homes for our tenants. The planned work has been delayed due to the pandemic but is now in the final phase of design.
"We are about to install an Air Source Heating System at Glenfuir Court and the cladding work has been programmed to follow this, commencing during financial year 2023/2024.”
Last year the Scottish Government launched its Single Building Assessment programme to carry out the safety assessments.
While it was expected that the majority of inspections will show that the building is safe, they said this would give peace of mind to homeowners.
Where problems are identified, this will help to identify the scale of funding needed to take necessary remedial work.
All buildings within the scope of expert guidance on buildings with cladding will be included in the programme – around 700 high rise properties and many more at lower heights.