£57 Million investment approved to address high rise safety concerns

A wide-ranging plan for safer and more modern high-rise living has been approved by Kirklees Cabinet.

The plan for the four council-owned high-rise buildings focusses first and foremost on making sure tenants are safe and confident in their homes. There will be a mixture of remediation, refurbishment, and rebuilding work.

The plan was formed following in-depth conversations with tenants and leaseholders earlier this year, looking for ways to ensure robust fire safety measures were in place and that potential fire risks were minimised, in line with government requirements.  

Residents provided vital insight that has allowed the council to hear to the voices of those directly impacted and plan with their needs at the centre. The cabinet decision means the multimillion-pound investment plan across the four high rise blocks will go ahead.

The £57 million investment will see Bishop’s Court and Holme Park Court at Berry Brow demolished and replaced with new lower height buildings. Buxton House will be significantly remodelled, and Harold Wilson Court will see improvements to fire safety standards.

Artists impression of Berry Brow low rise blocks

Councillor Cathy Scott, Cabinet Member for Housing and Democracy and Deputy Leader of the Council said:

“The tragic events of Grenfell were a reminder that the council cannot ignore the ongoing risks associated with high-rise residential blocks. The safety of our residents is our first priority and we are committed to bringing our high-rise buildings up to the standard our tenants deserve.

“Our tenants are uniquely placed to give us feedback and when the new government standards were introduced, we spoke to our tenants and explained the options for each of the high-rise blocks in question. Taking on this feedback helped inform the cabinet decision and we now have a plan for investment that will deliver safer and more modern homes.”

Further consultation with tenants will take place to explain the plan moving forward including rehousing options during the works, which should commence sometime next year.

Huddersfield Times

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