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Barratt to pay for fire safety cladding upgrade on Croydon block

Barratt Developments has said it will pay for backdated and future fire safety costs to make the Citiscape housing complex in Croydon safe. Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

Developers of a high-rise block that failed fire safety tests will pay for safety measures estimated to run into the millions of pounds, including replacing its Grenfell-style cladding, the Government has said.

Barratt Developments has said it will pay for backdated and future fire safety costs to make the Citiscape housing complex in Croydon, south London, safe, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid applauded the company for protecting leaseholders in the 95 flats from shouldering the costs. Both of the connected blocks were among hundreds that failed fire tests ordered by the Government in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, which left 71 dead last year.

In March, Citiscape residents learned they had lost a tribunal battle the previous month over who should foot the bill. The tribunal heard the total cost of the replacement of the cladding was estimated at £2 million.

Fire wardens have been monitoring the blocks full time at "4,000 a week, and by February had run up bills of approximately £128,000 since June 26 2017. Leaseholders were told of the decision at a Residents Association meeting on Thursday night.

A spokesman for Barratt Developments said: "Following the recent ruling that the costs for necessary recladding at Citiscape will fall on the individual apartment owners, many of whom were originally Barratt customers when it was built in 2002, we have decided that we will pay for the work. "Citiscape was built in line with all building regulations in place at the time of construction. "While we don't own the building or have any liability for the cladding, we are committed to putting our customers first. "The important thing now is ensuring that owners and residents have peace of mind."

Mr Javid said the company had "done the right thing" and listened to the concerns of residents. He said: "Other building owners and housebuilders in the private sector should follow the example set by Barratt Developments to protect leaseholders from costs and begin essential fire safety works. "I want to see all leaseholders in this position get the peace of mind they deserve and I am keeping this under review."