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

It’s party time image

It’s party time

Paul Marinko tries to help the sector navigate the web of policy commitments for local government on offer after 12 December.
Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness image

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness

With the support of stakeholders, including forward-thinking local authorities, Beam’s innovative support model ‘swiftly removes every barrier faced by homeless people from entering the workforce’, says Seb Barker.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

LA Clerk to Governors

North Yorkshire County Council
19,945 - £22,021 per annum pro rata
Looking for Clerks who will work closely with Governing Boards and further build on our reputation of excellence in... North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Occupational Therapist Adults Social Care - Early Intervention

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
Job PurposeECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift from a focus on long-term care support, to a England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Occupational Therapist Adults Social Care - Early Intervention

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
Job PurposeECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift from a focus on long-term care support, to a England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

ASC Occupational Therapist -Early Intervention

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
Please note there are 3 positions available. Job PurposeECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Business Support Administrator Grade C

North Yorkshire County Council
17.711 - 18.426
You will need to have a natural desire to learn and continually develop your knowledge and skills. North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine