Laura Sharman 10 October 2017

Slough council to take over residential block due to fire risk

Slough council to take over residential block due to fire risk image

Slough Borough Council is to take control of a privately owned residential block due to concerns about fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

Councillors have agreed to acquire the business Ground Rents Estates 5 Limited which controls the freehold of Nova House, a six-storey former office block that was converted into 68 residential apartments in 2015.

Council leader Sohail Munawar said the authority was ‘concerned’ about fire safety in the building after the Grenfell Tower fire which left 66 people dead and 158 families homeless (pictured).

In England, according to the latest data from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), 266 buildings taller than 18 metres (59ft) failed fire safety tests after the blaze. 165 of these were social housing and 16 were public buildings.

Slough council emphasises that, in the case of Nova House, building control regulation was undertaken by a privately approved inspector and not local authority building control.

‘Unfortunately it has now got to the stage where we feel, to protect the safety of the residents now and in the longer-term, we have to intervene directly and take over responsibility for Nova House,’ said Cllr Munawar.

‘We know there is a great deal of work that needs to be done to Nova House to bring it up to the correct safety standards and we do not believe the current freeholder has the capacity to do what is needed for the residents.

‘As Slough residents, our duty is to protect them and ensure their safety and this is what has driven this decision.’

Cllr Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘We have been in regular contact with the residents of Nova House and have already written to them today to explain our intentions.

‘In the coming week, we will be undertaking site visits and surveys in preparation for taking over the freehold, so we can move swiftly when the transfer has been completed.

‘Our aim is to improve the situation at Nova House for the residents and their safety remains at the forefront of our minds.’

Who is behind the new Grenfell Taskforce, and what has it been set up to achieve? Sam Clayden reports here

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Looked After Children and Vulnerable Young People

Enfield London Borough Council
Up to £89,319
 This is an exciting opportunity to lead all the services that support Enfield’s children in care and care leavers. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Head of Communities

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
to £61,751 (pay award pending)
We are looking for an innovative and knowledgeable senior professional to join our leadership team with strong experience of working in communities... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Economic Development Officer (Town Centres)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878 per annum
The Economic Development Officer (Town Centres) post forms part of the Council’s Business Focus team who provide help directly to businesses. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Educational Psychologist

Camden London Borough Council
£44,131 - £53,34
The ideal candidates will have an excellent understanding of psychological frameworks and their application in... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Economic Development Officer

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878
Are you interested in a challenge and want to help shape the future of North West Leicestershire? Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue