Cladding divide as residents face £40,000 bill to replace flammable material while others won’t pay

Phillip Symes

The retired sailor is facing a bill of £40,000 to replace cladding on his block at The Decks – half what he paid for his two-bed flat. 

Mr Symes, 71, said: ‘Fire is fire, however high the block is. 

‘Leaseholders on the fifth floor of blocks like mine are not getting any support, while those on the first floor of blocks slightly taller are having it all paid for.’

Gail Jeys and Luke Callander

Miss Jeys, 54, and Mr Callander, 44, live in Lock 7, one of the five-storey blocks at The Decks which don’t qualify for the cladding fund. 

They say firemen told them their block is more dangerous than the six-storey Lock 6 next door because it has more flammable cladding. 

Miss Jeys said: ‘We want to get out of here. 

‘We go to sleep wondering if we will wake up in the morning… the place is a tinderbox.’

Julie Fraser

The 58-year-old says developer Taylor Wimpey should ‘hold their hands up’ and cover the costs. 

She bought her flat in the five-storey Lock 7 building to provide retirement income, but says it is now losing her money. 

She added: ‘We, as leaseholders, didn’t create the problems… the developers are the ones with the deep pockets.’

Carol Grogan

The pensioner, 67, who lives in a six-storey block, says she feels ‘lucky’ to be one of those who qualify for help but describes the cut-off as unfair. 

‘I don’t see how something under 60ft is seen to be incombustible but something just above that height is,’ she says.

Derek Booth

The digital marketing worker, 51, who bought his flat for £85,000 in 2012, is in one of the three blocks under 60ft. 

He says: ‘I’ve a bill coming through for repairs and I don’t know how much it’s going to be. That’s on top of the service charge and insurance. 

‘If I don’t pay all those, the management company are going to go to the solicitors and I could be evicted. 

‘Robert Jenrick doesn’t understand the problems we’re facing. He doesn’t live in the real world.’

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