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Six Cardiff tower blocks fail new fire safety tests

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Six high rise blocks of flats have failed fire safety standards, despite passing initial tests in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

Lydstep Flats, Llandaff North (3 blocks), Loudoun and Nelson House, Butetown and Channel View, Grangetown, did not meet safety regulations.

After the Grenfell Tower fire in June of last year, where more than 70 people were killed and 70 more injured, the Welsh Government carried out inspections across all high rise buildings in Wales.

Read more: Inquiry continues on the safety of high rise blocks in Wales

Initial tests on the six buildings showed no presence of Aluminium Composite Materials (ACM) - the flammable material used in Grenfell.

Testing of ACM was all that was required by Government.

The Grenfell Tower fire killed more than 70 people in June. Credit: PA images

However, Cardiff Council carried out additional tests after it was recommended by external consultants to establish whether the cladding, which was installed in the 1990's, would meet current regulations.

Now, nine months on, results show, although they do not contain the same cladding used in Grenfell, the veneered, fibrous-hardwood, rainscreen panels used in the buildings do not meet current combustibility standards.

Read more: Cladding from seven buildings in Wales has now failed fire safety checks.

It is likely that the cladding will need to be removed, say Cardiff Council:

As soon as we became aware of the test results and following advice from the fire service, additional safety measures were put in place including round the clock fire warden patrols and increased CCTV monitoring.

It is likely that the cladding on all blocks affected will need to be removed and we are currently looking at options available to complete this work quickly and effectively.

The council is in the process of upgrading fire doors in all of our high-rise blocks and the installation of 60-minute fire doors will be complete in May. All high rise blocks are also set to be fitted with sprinklers.

Fire safety is of the utmost importance to the Council and our housing service has a dedicated team fully trained on fire safety issues.

– Cardiff Council

Letters have been handed out to residents informing of the latest developments.