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  1. ITV Report

Residents saying they'll have to cough up new cladding costs

  • Click below to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

Flat owners in a tower black in Ipswich say they've been told that THEY will need to foot the £2.4 million bill for safety upgrades.

Work started to remove the cladding back in August from the St Francis Tower- one of the highest towers in Suffolk- following the Grenfell fire in London.

Residents have reported they could have to spend over £20,000 each to replace their outside cladding.

The 17 story tower has 116 apartments Credit: ITV News Anglia

You think you're having everything checked and double checked and then to find out later down the line, a lot later down the line that the building might not be safe and might not be safe for the tenants you've got in there as well, that's a real big shock

– Kie Humphreys, Property owner
Credit: ITV News Anglia

The management company -which took over the building in 2016 - say an unprecedented amount of work has gone into keeping residents safe.

We have dedicated all our resources, energy and expertise to ensure our residents continue to live in a safe environment with minimal disruption as we resolve the cladding issue.

Immediate and urgent measures were undertaken to maintain resident safety including the introduction of a 4-man, 24 hour, 7 days a week waking watch fire marshal team which were both necessary by and operated under NFCC guidelines.

Block Management UK Ltd have kept all leaseholders and residents informed.... We have also had two leaseholder meetings regarding the project as we believe the leaseholders deserve to hear first-hand from their block managing agent.

Despite not being the original developer of the building the current freeholder has funded all work to date and will continue to do so until all safety issues have been addressed. All parties involved are exploring every possible avenue to mitigate the costs being attributed to the leaseholders.

– David Collinson, Managing Director