WCHG Press Statement 25/06/2017

Following the tragic events from the Grenfell Fire, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG) working with the Greater Manchester Fire service has conducted a comprehensive review of all ten tower blocks within Wythenshawe, Manchester.

As noted in our previous statement dated the 22-6-17, WCHG took the immediate decision to remove a number of affected cosmetic panels at Village 135, in a small overall part of the development. These panels were above the height requirement of 18 metres, this work commenced on 23-6-17 and was completed on the 24-6-17.

As an additional reassurance measure for our residents, WCHG has taken the decision to remove all affected cosmetic paneling across the entire Village 135 development. This work has already commenced.

We want to reassure all our residents we take their safety very seriously. We have robust fire safety measures in place, with a state of the art fire alarm system for early detection, 24 hour on site concierge service and all alarms are linked to a Careline system for added security.

Group Chief Executive Nigel Wilson said, “I want to reassure all our residents we take their safety very seriously. With immediate effect today (25-6-17), I have arranged for contractors to remove all affected panels across the Village 135 development. Whilst this is beyond the recommended requirements, continuing to provide residents with assurance is our primary concern.

Chair of the Board, The Bishop of Manchester, The Right Revd David Walker said, “The complete removal of the associated panels at Village 135, highlights WCHG’s commitment to reassuring all of its residents that we have their safety and welfare as a first priority.

County Fire Officer of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Peter O’Reilly said, “Firefighters had inspected the buildings at Village 135 in Wythenshawe and although the complex did not give them great concern, the Service would continue to liaise with the management team and developer to confirm that any cladding fitted to the outside of the buildings complies with building and fire safety regulations.

He added: “The properties appear to be of a high standard and have two means of escape from each block. Fire officers found that each block has a communal fire alarm system and the individual apartments have hard wired interlinked detection. They said the use of brick to separate the cladding systems would hinder fire spread. The combination of the passive and active fire safety measures across Village 135 appeared to our team to be sufficient to support the escape of the residents. Follow up work by Fire officers will be carried out to enhance measures to support the evacuation of persons with reduced mobility but on the whole, we’d like to reassure residents this building does not give us any great concern from a fire safety point of view.”

For further enquiries please contact the communications team on communications@wchg.org.uk

Office Closure – 20/6/14