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Fire Risk Evicts New Homeowners from City Centre Apartments

Residents are being forced to leave their city centre apartments- because the building violates fire safety rules.

Many homeowners in Islington Wharf Mews purchased their properties only last year, but it was soon revealed that the apartments had building fireproofing defects. They will have to live elsewhere for up to 10 months while the issue is corrected.

ISIS Waterside, which developed the property, is also in a serious row with residents in the first phase of the adjacent development.

Islington Wharf residents state that they are contemplating legal action because temperatures in their flats reach over 35C every summer. The developer has provided temporary air conditioning units and intends to replace the windows.

At Islington Wharf Mews, a collection of almost 50 upscale flats, residents had bought and moved into them months before learning about the fireproofing issue. It has been stated that a private firm had approved the fireproofing.


Structural Defects Insurance

In November Greater Manchester fire service visited the building, and soon after the building control department, which is responsible for maintaining safety standards, became involved.

Cllr Kate Chappell, executive member for environment, stated that developers are legally permitted to use an approved inspector instead of the local authority building control. When issues became apparent, the Manchester council ensured that remedial action was taken.

It is not presently known which contractor approved the fireproofing.

Mr James Needham, chair of the Islington Wharf Mews residents committee, said that apartment owners were worried that similar complications would rear their heads with phase three, which is currently in the planning stages.

Mr Needham added that the residents believe that ISIS Waterside failed to ensure that newly built apartments had any faults corrected in a timely manner, and cautioned potential phase three buyers to think carefully before committing to a purchase.

ISIS Waterside Regeneration Director Nigel Franklin said that the problems facing the two Islington Wharf schemes are not connected, and therefore being treated on an individual basis. He apologized for any discomfort and disruption caused to residents.

Mr Franklin said that the developer was aware of the issues experienced by some residents due to overheated apartments during phase one of the Islington Wharf development, and confirmed that ISIS Waterside was working with the residents committee to resolve it.

In regard to Islington Wharf Mews, where the second phase of development was recently completed, Mr Franklin admitted that several construction-related issues had come to light. He said that all necessary building regulation approvals and certification had been received, so the developer did not suspect a non-compliance issue.

He promised that a complete investigation was in the works to determine how these problems came about. ISIS Waterside has been communicating regularly with all property owners at Islington Wharf Mews and is presently working with them to ensure that the issues are resolved quickly.

Mr Franklin reiterated that the issue was being given the highest priority and residents would be kept informed of ongoing progress.

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