Southwark residential block enforcement notices published

Details of the enforcement notices relating to three blocks of flats owned by Southwark Council and issued last month by London Fire Brigade have been made available. The notices relate to Marie Curie House, which is next door to Lakanal House where six people died in a fire in July, and Castlemead and Perronet – two other blocks in the borough.

Shortcomings listed in the notices include: no suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and faults with fire doors in all three blocks; ceilings of common access and escape routes without fire resistance in two of the blocks; as well as separation between flats and common access/escape routes without fire resistance, routes to emergency exits not kept clear, and inadequate maintenance of fire resisting construction, cavity barriers and fire doors in Marie Curie House.

Responding to the publication of the enforcement notices, a council spokesperson said “Following the Lakanal fire we worked with the fire brigade and on our own to look at the works needed on high rise blocks. We conducted intrusive inspections that provide much greater detail than fire risk assessments. As a result, we have committed £4million to improve fire safety at these blocks.

“We have said that we did not consider these enforcement notices were necessary when we already had plans in place to undertake the precautionary work the LfB [London Fire Brigade] wanted. The action taken may be disproportionate when there are possibly hundreds of scissor blocks like the ones in question up and down the country, but we understand that the LfB, like us, will be concerned to go above and beyond what is needed on fire safety after the tragedy.”

He added that around a quarter of the work at Marie Curie House had been completed, and work at the other two blocks will be starting next week.