A crowdfunding page has been launched by worried tenants who are looking to pay for independent fire safety checks to be carried out in their properties in North London.
Over 3,000 residents, including many private sector tenants, living on an estate in Camden, were evacuated during June. This was following concern from fire inspectors, who claimed that four tower blocks were at risk.
Following the Grenfell Tower disaster, both tenants and firefighters are wary of safety issues in high-rise buildings.
In the instance of the estate in Camden, the London Fire Brigade uncovered a number of fire safety issues inside the blocks of the building. An inspection revealed that blocks were wrapped in extremely flammable cladding.
People living on the Chalcots estate were woken in the night during June and told to leave their flats immediately, due to imminent danger.
Now, some six weeks later, tenants are being asked to return by Camden Council, which claimed the properties are now safe following urgent works.
However, there are still ongoing fears about external cladding and requirements for internal repairs. These include for gas pipes, largely explaining why a number of residents have refused to go back home.
As such, a group of residents who remain worried about their safety at the Swiss Cottage have decided to appoint a legal firm to assist them to commission their own report.
Camden tenants launch crowdfunding page for fire safety checks
Robert Kukaj and Sasha Martin, both with families residing in the towers, set up the online donation page, with a target of raising £3,000. Any funds raised over this amount will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Mr Kukaj said: ‘We as residents feel that it is not safe to return to our flats as we have seen evidence that these works have not been done properly and to the right standard. We also felt that these works being signed off by different local authorities does not provide the impartiality that you would have if it was done by an approved inspector with no ties to any local authority or government. It is a lot to ask for granted but worth every penny to put people’s minds at ease and to make sure we are not living in death traps.’
A Camden Council spokesman told the press that they had been working alongside residents to reassure them of the safety of the buildings following advice from London Fire Brigade.
The spokesman said: ‘We want to again reassure residents that building control requirements have been met and independently checked. Additionally, and crucially, the London Fire Brigade have checked the works and are happy that we have met the required standard. We know this has been a difficult time for residents and we will continue to make one to one support and advice available.’