About 150 leaseholders demonstrated in Docklands on Saturday following the fire the day before at Ballymore’s new Providence Wharf site.
The leaseholders are furious at the slow pace of remediation at the site – and the fact that Ballymore, a provider builder owned by the Mulryan family, are paying in only £500,000 of the estimated £12 million bill. This contribution was offered originally when the bill appeared to be only £2 million, but it has not increased.
The New Providence Wharf leaseholders were joined by many others from elsewhere, and the local MP Apsana Begum, Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs, the LKP team, representatives of UKCAG and Katherine O’Riordan, senior parliamentary advisor to Sir Peter Bottomley, who distributed sandwiches to the demonstrators.
In spite of strong competition, Ballymore seems to be the most detested housebuilder in London, and many leaseholders present had also contributed to the devastating article in the Financial Times about the company:
Ballymore – like other Irish developers the Comer brothers and Galliard – keep hold of the freeholds of their sites and manage them. The FT articles was extraordinary in the number of leaseholders so frustrated that they were prepared to speak publicly of their issues with the company, whatever the consequences on the value of their homes.
Today the New Providence Wharf Leaseholders and Residents Association wrote the following to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick:
Dear Mr Jenrick,
We are writing this open letter to you on behalf of the residents and leaseholders of New Providence Wharf following the disastrous fire at the development on 7th May 2021 which left 2 people hospitalised, 40 more needing medical treatment and a number homeless.
Events over the weekend are a further graphic reminder of the urgent need for the government to take decisive action on the unresolved issue of building safety and aluminium clad residential properties. What has been put in place to date has been too slow and remains inadequate, and this is something that we have pointed out time and again to you, the extended Government and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
We are asking you to now make a public commitment to take personal leadership and drive through the speedy resolution needed to ensure no more lives are lost and that the safety and financial certainty of the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the cladding scandal are ensured.
As Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government this is your responsibility. Post-Grenfell, this commitment must be at the top of the agenda and well before any other interests, whether financial, those of developers and freeholders, or any other parties.
We are asking you make it your priority. Anything less would represent a failure to meet your obligations, to fulfil your duty to the public and to shoulder the moral obligation that rests with you. We look forward to your early response. In the meantime, we have written separately to the Prime Minister.
We are copying this letter to the Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, Lucy Powell, Apsana Begum MP, Clive Betts MP, the Mayor of London, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Jeremy Pocklington [MHCLG permanent secretary]. Stephen McPartland [Tory MP] and Lord Greenhalgh [Housing and Cladding Minister].
Residents living in flats with ACM cladding gathered in Isle of Dogs, east London, on Saturday to urge the government to protect leaseholders from post- Grenfell remediation bills. Protesters held placards while chanting “enough is enough”. Police were also seen at the protest.
crowd of leaseholders took to the streets in London to demand an end to the “cladding scandal” a day after a fire at a building bearing the same cladding as Grenfell Tower. More than 100 people gathered at the Isle of Dogs urging politicians to do more to protect leaseholders who face financial hardship in the face of huge bills.
Protestors yesterday staged a demo at another tower block hit by fire and told the Government: “This must be a wake-up call.” The sight of flames licking New Providence Wharf on Friday revived awful memories of the Grenfell Tower disaster which killed 72 in June 2017.
Following the fire on Saturday morning at New Providence Wharf, a high-rise residential block in Blackwall, an angry group of residents gathered in Marsh Wall on Sunday afternoon to raise awareness of the lack of urgency builders Ballymore have shown to fixing the Grenfell-style ACM cladding present in the block.
Published: 12:30 PM May 10, 2021 Neighbours staged a demonstration over the ongoing cladding scandal after the horror of Friday’s blaze at New Providence Wharf. Canary Wharf residents and 100 other leaseholders from across London and the Home Counties came together on May 8 to protest that their homes are still too dangerous to live in with cladding that is not fire-retardant.
Organisers say hundreds of protesters gathered on Saturday, while Robert Jenrick was slammed for not meeting with residents