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Khan pressed to review contracts after balcony collapse

London Meeting members have urged London mayor Sadiq Khan to evaluate Larger London Authority (GLA) housing funding agreements with Barking and Dagenham Council after a balcony collapsed at a Bouygues-built housing scheme. 

Members of the meeting unanimously handed a movement calling for the evaluate and in addition known as on the mayor to analyze issues of safety within the borough’s housing schemes in receipt of GLA funding.

Conservative meeting member Andrew Boff, who proposed the movement, mentioned that residents of a Bouygues-built housing block had raised considerations to the council’s housing firm, B&D Reside, in regards to the security of their balconies two years earlier than one collapsed in November.

Boff advised Building Information the evaluate ought to take a look at making certain the GLA was not complicit in any future security incidents. 

He mentioned: “We got here fairly near a tragedy.”

Bouygues accomplished Weaver’s Quarter, a part of the continued Gascoigne East property redevelopment, for L&Q between 2018 and 2019. B&D Reside took over possession of the property as soon as building had completed.

The development of the Gascoigne property was supported by a authorities grant allotted by way of the Reasonably priced Houses Programme (AHP). Barking and Dagenham Council was allotted £171m from the AHP within the interval 2021-26 to construct about 1,750 properties.

Boff advised the Meeting on 8 February: “We now have a scenario the place 414 social and inexpensive properties [at the balcony-collapse development] have been declared unsafe. The basic points that ought to have been picked up at that design stage […] appear to have been ignored.”

The movement additionally known as for powers for native authorities to compel non-public sector builders to deal with structural faults in newly constructed housing.

Labour meeting member Unmesh Desai mentioned: “At present, native authorities don’t have any authorized powers to intervene and power constructors to deal with and proper structural faults to newly constructed housing.

“There’s not solely an issue in Barking and Dagenham – the shortage of readability over the place duty lies for constructing security is an issue that impacts the safety of residents throughout the nation.

“The security of residents transcends political variations.”

Desai referenced a 2019 fire at a housing block built by Bellway Homes, which destroyed 20 flats.

A spokesperson from Barking and Dagenham Council mentioned: “The balcony fascia failure in November was the newest main ‘latent defect’ within the building of Weavers Quarter.

“The council moved rapidly to impress upon Bouygues that they wanted to behave to make sure all of the balcony coverings on the property had been protected and we wish Bouygues to deal with all remaining defects on the property as a matter of urgency.

“Nevertheless, the council doesn’t have the authorized powers to instruct the constructor to deal with defects. L&Q housing affiliation (initially, as East Thames housing affiliation) managed the event of the scheme, and so they contracted building agency Bouygues to construct it. Because of this L&Q retains the only real duty for serving discover on Bouygues to repair building defects.

“Importantly, we assist the Meeting’s name that the federal government ought to change this association and provides native authorities the required powers to intervene and compel building corporations to deal with defects with newly constructed housing.”

B&D Reside and Bouygues have been contacted for remark. L&Q declined to remark.