COSTS to replace Grenfell-style cladding and installation of further safety measures at a former office block turned flats has spiked to £17.8 million.

The bill to remove the dangerous aluminium composite material cladding as well as adding additional safety measures at Nova House, which compromises 68 flats in Buckingham Gardens, will cost substantially more than the initial £4 million estimation made in October 2017.

In wake of the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017, which killed dozens of people and injured hundreds, cladding at Nova House failed two flammability tests.

Slough Borough Council intervened by purchasing Ground Rent Estates 5 Limited (GRE5), which owns the freehold of the site, fearing the safety of the residents there and to avoid evacuating occupiers out of the building whilst remediation works were carried out.

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When the council bought GRE5, work and other costs were estimated to be £4 million – but that has now jumped to £17.8 million following the latest estimation review as of May 2021.

This includes legal fees, insurance advisor’s fees, cladding works, other fire safety works, as well as temporary fire measures such as heat detector systems and a 24-hour waking watch if a fire was to occur during the permanent fixtures.

Slough Observer: More work is to be done to fully remove the ACM claddingMore work is to be done to fully remove the ACM cladding

In 2019, cabinet agreed to loan GRE5 up to £7 million, which £5.3m has already been spent.

But further faults in the building have been identified by GRE5.

They have produced a work programme to rectify these issues and will need additional money due to a funding shortfall.

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According to the report, GRE5 has been given £7.8 million from the government for cladding works but a survey on the building suggested it may cost a further £2.2 million than originally given.

A £3 million loan from the council could be made to the company if it is needed –  but it may not be fully paid back, officers warned.

This potential further loan will require a decision by full council in the near future – but cabinet, who met on Monday, June 21, asked GRE5 for more information on future works and costs as well as requesting them to prioritise replacing the cladding.