RESIDENTS of a ‘dangerous’ tower block are in a stand-off with the council over access to their flats.

Nova House in Buckinghamshire Gardens, is to be taken over by Slough Borough Council so that it might correct the building’s cladding, after tests done in the wake of the Grenfell tower fire discovered it was dangerously flammable.

In the interim, SBC has placed a private fire engine on 24-hour duty outside, and has begun installing heat detectors in all the flats But one family has refused to let workers in, fearing that once the heat detectors are installed the council will declare the building safe, and will take away the fire engine.

Rita Pell, 86, of Nova House, said: “The reasons they want to put the sensors in is so they can get rid of the fire engine, and they will not do anything about the cladding. They think they can take away the fire engine and say it is not dangerous any more.

“We are the only ones in the building denying them, but while we do so, they can’t take away the fire engine.

“We have them over a barrel.”

A spokeswoman for Slough Borough Council said: “We’ve been putting these heat detectors in and have not been charging them.

“It’s a benefit to them, so its disappointing that they have refused entry but its their decision. It’s not a stand off.”

Asked if the installation of the heat detectors would be enough to justify taking away the fire engine, the spokeswoman said: “It is possible.

“We want to bring the building to a safe standard.

“We have always said the fire engine will only be there until it is no longer needed. We’re in ongoing discussions with the fire service - having 67 of the 68 flats covered may be enough.”

The spokeswoman denied the heat detectors would be used to justify not replacing the flammable cladding.

She said: “This has nothing to do with the major works on the building, like replacing the cladding – we are trying to improve immediate fire safety.”