Emma Reynolds, Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, has expressed concern following the discovery that cladding on two student blocks in Heath Town is a type of aluminium composite material (ACM) which may be flammable. The blocks are owned by Liberty Heights. But Emma has welcomed the news that students will be relocated as a precaution. The students study at Wolverhampton University.

An inspection has shown that 20% of the two blocks in question are clad in the aluminium composite material (ACM). One of the blocks is 8-storeys and the other is 10-storeys high. The third block on the site is 25-storeys high and is the tallest building in the city. This block has no ACM cladding panels and the review conducted by the owners has found that this block is considered fully fire safe. The ACM panels will now be tested to ascertain how combustible they are.

Emma said “I welcome the announcement that students resident in the two blocks in question will be moved out as soon as possible as a precaution. This is while consideration is given as to how to make the two blocks in question fire safe. As it is out of term time many students have already gone home and so the numbers of students affected will be low.

“I am however very concerned that student accommodation may have been clad in flammable substances. This is unacceptable. It should never have been allowed to happen and I am calling for a full investigation as to how it came about. There are certainly questions to answer, such as why this cladding was chosen and why its defects were not identified by the responsible Building Control body, which I understand in this case was a company in Hunslet, Leeds who were appointed by the developers at the time when they applied for planning permission.

“I want to know what kind of ACM panel has been used and how dangerous it is. I will be writing to the owners of the building to raise my concerns.”

July 2017