COMBUSTIBLE cladding on a block of flats in Atlantic Wharf is now set to be removed due to fire safety concerns.
Galleon House, 119–245 Galleon Way, is a block of flats opposite Cardiff County Hall. Part of the building is currently clad in combustible timber.
The Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, which killed 72 people, raised concerns across the UK about how combustible some cladding is, as well as other fire safety concerns.
Although the timber cladding on Galleon House is different from the aluminium composite material responsible for the rapid spread of the fire on Grenfell Tower, fire safety concerns mean it will soon be replaced with non-combustible cladding.
Cardiff council recently approved planning permission for the replacement works, meaning they can now begin. Questions to Cardiff Community Housing Association—who applied for the permission—about when the work would start and how long it would take were not answered.
Details about the combustible cladding and replacement works were revealed in planning documents submitted as part of the application.
Chris Ellis, a council planning officer, said: “This re-cladding is required as a result of safety concerns—fire risk—nationally.”
The housing association is being represented by consultants Stride Treglown.
Also in planning documents, Francis Carpenter, a planning consultant with Stride Treglown, said: “Stride Treglown is acting on behalf of Cardiff Community Housing Association in respect of proposals to reclad the Galleon House building.
“The building is proposed to be re-clad due to concerns over the combustibility of the existing cladding solutions. The works will require the removal of the timber cladding and replacement with non-combustible timber effect cladding to closely match the original.”
Cardiff council received the planning application on December 16 last year, and approved the works on Wednesday, March 10.
A spokesperson for CCHA said:
“In February, we were pleased to be awarded £2.6 million in a capital grant from the Welsh Government’s High Rise Residential Building Safety Fund.
“This grant will fund fire safety improvement works for two of our high rise residential buildings, Aquila House and Galleon House, both of which are over 18 metres in height and located in Cardiff Bay.
“The capital grant fund of just over £10 million was open to applications from registered social landlords and local authorities in early 2021. The fund aimed to support applicants to complete fire safety improvement works within existing high rise residential buildings.
“We wrote to all residents at Galleon House and Aquila House in February explaining our intention to submit an application for funding; and we were very pleased to follow up with a further letter again in March, confirming our funding award.
“At Galleon House, our successful funding application includes 100 per cent funding to replace all external timber cladding, install sprinkler systems and also to extend the coverage of the existing fire alarm system.
“At Aquila House, having already improved the fire alarm system and compartmentation in 2020 and commenced the installation of a whole building sprinkler system in 2021, our successful application includes 100 per cent funding to replace all external timber cladding on the building.
“We are pleased to be working with ASD Build to replace the timber cladding and with RSP Sprinklers and Crimewatch Alarms to install a sprinkler system and extend the coverage of the fire alarm at Galleon Way.
“None of the planned improvement works will be service charged to residents at either scheme. We continue to keep all our residents updated with the progress of planned works and we expect all contractors to begin work at Galleon House and Aquila House from March 22.”
Jonathan Jones, corporate director of property at CCHA, said:
“The safety of our residents is of the utmost importance to us and we continue to take the opportunity to improve the safety of our homes to the highest levels that we can.”