Timber balconies removed from Westminster towers amid fire safety fears
Timber from the balconies of 750 Westminster properties is to be removed amid fire safety fears.
Six high-rise residential towers on the Warwick and Brindley estates, known as the Little Venice towers, are to have the balconies removed as a safety measure.
The timber decking panels will be replaced with concrete tiles at a cost of £3m. The balconies came up to previous fire standards but the Westminster City Council said it was adopting new advice that had been published in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The 3,000m2 of decking will be recycled either for allotments on the estate or through social enterprise Community Wood Recycling.
Last year the council removed all of the ACM cladding from the Little Venice towers, and will start work to re-insulate them later this year by applying a completely non-combustible alternative that was agreed with residents.
It added that there are no other council-owned residential buildings with timber frames, balconies or decking.
Councillor Andrew Smith, Westminster City Council cabinet member for housing services, said: “The safety of our residents is our top priority and as a forward-thinking council, when it comes to fire safety works, we’re keeping ahead of changing building regulations. We’re acting swiftly and safely, doing so in a green and environmentally friendly way. The timber may be no good for a balcony, but it’s great for an allotment.”