Newham wins landmark legal case over cladding removal delays

Newham Council has won a landmark legal case, following an order to issued to Chaplair Ltd. to remove cladding following the Grenfell disaster.

It is believed to be the first time a local authority has used its powers under the 2004 Housing Act for a cladding-related prosecution.

In 2019, four types of flammable cladding were found on the Lumiere Building, an apartment block on Romford Road in Forest Gate, owned by Chaplair. These included the same type of aluminium composite material which contributed to the Grenfell fire.

After an improvement notice was issued, the council brought a criminal case when the deadline passed for work to begin.

Work eventually began in May 2021, with dangerous cladding removed by February 2022. Through its legal action, the Council successfully argued that there was no reasonable excuse for the delay.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram found Chaplair guilty of failing to comply with the improvement notice. Sentencing is scheduled for October 31.

Newham Council hailed the court ruling as a “major milestone” for its campaign for action on dangerous cladding.

“Through our Newham Cladding Action campaign to protect the rights of residents in our borough, we have zero tolerance for owners of buildings delaying essential life-saving fire safety work”, said Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, Mayor of Newham.

Image: Grenfell Tower

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