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Stormont offers to pay for cladding tests in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy

Durham House in Belfast was found to have similar cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower. Picture by Mal McCann
Andrew Madden

STORMONT is offering to pay the cost of testing the cladding used in residential tower blocks in the north in response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

The tests will be offered to owners, landlords and managers of private residential blocks higher than six storeys that have used Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding on their buildings.

A particular type of ACM cladding used on the Grenfell Tower was later found to have failed fire safety tests.

To date, the death toll as a result of the tragedy is 80, however the final total is not expected to be known until at least the end of the year.

In the wake of the tragedy, more than 180 high-rise buildings in the UK have failed cladding tests.

If ACM cladding is identified on the north's private residential blocks, further testing will be carried out at the Building Research Establishment and costs will be met by the Executive Office.

Following the Grenfell disaster, a review of 33 Housing Executive high rise buildings and 19 owned by housing associations in the north, was carried out.

One of those buildings, Durham House in Belfast - which is made up of one and two bedroom flats on Durham Street - was found to have similar cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower.

Samples of the cladding from Durham House were sent for testing, however the results have not yet been released.

Further information, including guidance on checking if ACM cladding has been used and how to have a sample tested, is available at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/acm-cladding-checks.

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