Developer rules out paying to replace wooden decking at Barking Riverside
- Credit: Jon King
A developer has ruled out covering the cost of replacing wooden decking, which has been accused of representing a fire risk on homes in Barking Riverside.
Owners of homes in the Caspian Quarter neighbourhood had demanded Bellway foot the bill.
Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge had urged the company to "do the right thing" by the leaseholders, but Bellway maintains there is no legal requirement for it to pay.
A Bellway spokesperson said: "Whilst we are not legally responsible at Caspian Quarter, we are working with [the freeholder] Adriatic, Encore, the managing agent and Barking Riverside Limited in agreeing a resolution."
Dame Margaret said: "I am frustrated that Bellway [has] decided not to fund the remedial works.
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"I held a stakeholder meeting with residents and Bellway in April, where I urged them to step up and do the right thing for the leaseholders and fund the works, as they have done elsewhere in the development.
"Their recent response is therefore disappointing. I will continue to work with all involved to secure a better deal for the residents of Caspian Quarter."
In a letter to the Labour MP seen by the Post, Bellway explains it carried out remedial work on two timber-clad blocks at Barking Riverside, including Samuel Garside House where a fire engulfed six floors and left many homeless in 2019.
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But the company maintains the work went "well beyond" its legal responsibility and there was no evidence the blocks failed to comply with the 2010 building regulations in force when they were built.
Those regulations were changed in light of the Grenfell Tower fire which claimed 72 lives in 2017.
In the letter, Bellway states taking the same approach is "not realistic to apply to every situation".
This is in spite of protests from leaseholders, who fear having to pay thousands for the work.
The Bellway spokesperson said the company takes fire and building safety extremely seriously.
She added Bellway has invested "significant resources" into tackling fire safety and making sure leaseholders and residents feel safe in their homes.
Barking Riverside Limited is the name given to a partnership between housing association L&Q and the Mayor of London's office, which oversees the area's development.