A SUPERMARKET has begun works to remove dangerous cladding at its chain in Maidenhead.

Cladding removal works at the Sainsbury’s at Providence Place began on March 6 after it was identified in 2020 that it had similar material identified at Grenfell Tower.

The tragedy saw 72 people die during the 2017 horror fire at Grenfell, in which the aluminium composite material caused the rapid spread of flames throughout the tower block.

The Maidenhead supermarket site has a block of flats above it and Sainsbury’s has written to residents, explaining the ground floor works are expected to be completed by April, followed by removal remediation on the south elevation, facing St Mary’s Walk.

READ MORE: Windsor & Maidenhead "paying the price" over adopted local plan

Sainsbury’s is the primary leaseholder of the building but the Royal Borough owns the freehold.

Cllr Gurch Singh (Lib Dem: St Mary’s) said the supermarket chain has been a “pain” to get the cladding works sorted.

He said: “It’s disappointing that it’s taken Sainsbury’s so long to pull their finger out. It has caused a lot of stress and distress to residents, but it’s great that it’s happening.”

Slough Observer: Cllr Gurch Singh said he was disappointed that it took so long for the works to beginCllr Gurch Singh said he was disappointed that it took so long for the works to begin (Image: Cllr Singh)

His claims that Sainsbury’s didn’t accept liability were refuted by a spokesperson for the supermarket.

They said: “Since concerns about the building’s fire safety were first raised, our number one priority has been the safety of residents at Providence Place. Despite Sainsbury’s not owning the development, we swiftly intervened to safeguard residents’ wellbeing at an early stage.

“We quickly took the decision to fully fund and install a new fire detection system to ensure that the necessary interim fire safety measures were in place, which removed the need for a waking watch.

READ MORE: Windsor & Maidenhead leader criticised over housing target request

“This was in addition to Sainsbury’s current investment of millions of pounds to make the required cladding and insulation replacements.

“We are pleased that the replacement works are now beginning and are committed to completing them as efficiently as possible whilst minimising any disruption to residents, customers and the local community.”