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Inspection finds cladding similar to Grenfell at Lansdowne Point

The block houses 400 residents

An inspection has found cladding similar to that used at Grenfell Tower was used in Lansdowne Point.

Students have been given the option to leave the building after a collection of “category 1 hazards” were found at the accommodation, The Bournemouth Echo reports.

Inspectors also expressed concern over the sprinkler systems, fire doors, emergency lighting and fire alarm system.

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"Category 1" is the term used to label the most dangerous safety issues. The Holdenhurst Road accommodation houses 400 residents, including students at Bournemouth University and The International College.

The Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) discovered in the student building was banned in the use of high-rise buildings in 2018 in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The leaseholders of the property, Kaplan Living, have previously said "some of the cladding covering the exterior of the building is similar to that used at the Grenfell Tower".

The Lansdowne Point Residence Team informed students work is to be done on the property to “ensure the building meets recent changes to fire safety standards”.

A spokesperson for Kaplan Living Bournemouth said the building will remain open and operational while works are carried out.

These works are expected to last up to seven months.

In the meantime, the company has “given the students the option” to relocate to other accommodation whilst the works are undertaken.

In an Improvement notice served under the Housing Act 2004, BCP Council said:

• ACM cladding panels covered approximately five per cent of the external facade from ground to 15th floors. Two samples of this cladding were tested and found to be category 3 ACM. These panels are now restricted to buildings below 18 metres in height.

• There appeared to be wood effect HPL panels covering 20 per cent of the external facade from first to 15th floors. Inspectors stated that these panels could present a notable fire hazard on buildings over 18 metres and immediate measures should be taken.

• Evidence behind the bronze cladding at the roof terrace suggested the presence of a membrane behind the cladding. It was not known whether this is fire rated.

• Inspectors were not able to confirm the presence of cavity barriers or fire stopping within the internal cladding system.

• The facade did not appear to have been maintained well. Gaskets were seen hanging way from the facade. Annual maintenance should have been carried out.

• Some areas of ACM and HPL cladding were located in areas that gave cause for concern.

• There were concerns regarding the maintenance of fire doors within the building, the sprinkler system and emergency lighting and splitting up of the building.

• It was ordered that the six-minute delay for activation of the communal fire alarm must be removed.

The de-cladding of the building will begin until April 2020 with an October 2020 completion deadline.