Barking Riverside protesters target developer as part of national building safety crisis campaign
- Credit: Jon King
A group of protesters targeted a developer's sales office as part of a national campaign sparked by the building safety crisis.
Neighbours from Barking Riverside raised placards reading "Enough is enough" outside Bellway's sales office in Beckton on Saturday, June 5.
The leaseholders fear having to pay up to £2,600 each for remedial work to remove timber decking at their homes, which were built by Bellway in 2016.
Yasmin Shaikh, a member of Barking Reach Residents Association, said: "This [situation] is not our fault. Bellway should pay.
"We don't want [freeholders] to pay the charges because they will pass the costs to leaseholders."
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The wooden flooring was identified as "a likely route" for fire in a report by consultants Tri Fire published in February.
After their blocks failed EWS1 external wall fire safety reviews, the residents cannot re-mortgage or sell their homes.
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From May 2022, some homeowners face the added pressure of paying interest on government loans which helped get them on the housing ladder.
Ms Shaikh said government help extended to owners in buildings 18 metres tall or more, but blocks affected in Barking Riverside fall 15cm short.
The homeowners are in the Caspian Quarter of the same neighbourhood where fire tore through Samuel Garside House in June 2019.
"We could see Samuel Garside in flames from our balconies. We are living under constant fear," Ms Shaikh said.
She urged Bellway to take ownership of defects identified as being made at the time the homes were built.
A spokesperson for the company said: "Bellway takes fire safety at our developments extremely seriously and has invested significant resources into addressing this issue.
"We appreciate at the heart of the issue is the need to ensure leaseholders and residents feel safe in their homes and we are keen to make sure we are doing all we can."
He added that, since 2017, Bellway has committed £132million to making fire safety improvements where it remains responsible.
The company has also provided help to the building owners of legacy schemes where it has remaining legal responsibility to do so.
A government spokesperson said owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders.
He added a new levy and tax would contribute to remediation costs.