Belfast residents to meet Finance Minister to discuss cladding concerns

Residents in a south Belfast block of flats are due to meet the Finance Minister later this week to discuss their concerns about cladding on the ten-story building.

While it is not the same type that caused the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, residents are worried about the cladding on Victoria Place Apartments, which is not 100% fire proof.

Many live in fear of a fire breaking out, others are worried about the effect on apartment sales and mortgages.

The residents are concerned that the aluminium composite material on the stairwell doesn't meet the highest fire safety rating and needs replaced.

South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has championed their cause.

She said: "People are concerned about the fact that this material has been deemed not the top level safe.

"That's not to say it's super combustible but it isn't the standard that we require.

"People are worried about that, about what might happen in the event of a fire. They're also worried if they wanted to move on, if they maybe intended to live in this apartment for two or three years and maybe start a family and are unable to do so without the safety certificate that they need."

The MP is leading a delegation of residents and management to meet the Finance Minister Conor Murphy on Wednesday to discuss the cladding issue further.