PRERA carried out a quick photographic survey this morning on the cladding over the communal heating pipes. The cladding was found to be coming apart in a number of locations across the estate. It appears that the plywood boxing beneath the white PVC fascia is decaying and losing its structural integrity. Residents and visitors are advised not to loiter beneath.
Last week another piece of cladding fell from the boxing around our communal heating pipes. This has happened several times previously and the poor state of this cladding has been raised with the council many times. Following this latest fall, we have been promised an “urgent inspection” and “any identified issues will be urgently addressed “.
The poor quality of the work to box in these heating pipes has been clear for several years, now. The work was originally carried out without planning permission. When permission was applied for in 2015, permission was refused, partly because the plywood used was not deemed sufficiently robust. Some sections where bare plywood was used were subsequently replaced with metal, but no work was done where the plywood had white PVC cladding.
A few years ago the heating pipes for Baly, Ponton, Ducavel and Despard Houses were re-routed. They were moved from the interior of the buildings, where they were difficult to maintain, to the exterior of the building. The pipes were clad with a mixture of white PVC and painted plywood. The plywood quickly degraded, delaminating and shedding the pigeon-spikes that were installed on top.
The coucil applied for retrospective planning permission for the above work in 2015 (Ref. 15/00106/RG3), but this was refused on the grounds of the materials chosen being unsuitable (the painted plywood) and insufficient drawings being provided. Lambeth has now made an updated planning application (Ref. 16/05754/RG3) in which they propose to replace some of the cladding with powder-coated galvanised steel. Comments can be made on this application through the Lambeth Planning Portal.