Lydstep Flats recladding agreed


Cardiff Council has confirmed its commitment to delivering recladding works to three of the authority's high rise blocks, which had cladding removed after the Grenfell tragedy.


Llandaff North's Lydstep Flats are home to 126 households, and make up three of five council high rises which the local authority intends to reclad.


Cardiff Council's Cabinet met yesterday, Thursday, September 23 and agreed a way forward for the works to be carried out.


Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "We have a duty of care to our tenants living in Lydstep flats and following the removal of the cladding, the flats have become significantly colder with some tenants experiencing issues with increased condensation and mould growth.


"Doing nothing is not an option. We have looked at demolishing and rebuilding but the cost of this would be around £29m and would require the temporary rehousing of all tenants placing extra pressure on housing supply during what is already an exceptionally challenging time."


At its meeting, Cabinet heard how costs for the recladding scheme have doubled to £15m since initial quotes in early 2020 before the pandemic struck, with Brexit and inflationary pressures in the building industry cited as key reasons for the rise.


The impact of the extensive testing and regulation framework for cladding solutions that has been evolving nationwide following the Grenfell tragedy has also contributed to delay in the scheme and cost increases.


Cllr Thorne continued: "The greatest part of the increase in cost is due to the very significant inflationary pressures that have been experienced over the course of the project. These pressures are the result of a number of factors. It is reported that material costs have been increasing at a rate of 5% to 10% a month for some products and a 20% increase in labour costs has also been experienced.


"Delaying the scheme carries too many risks as well. Prices could rise further and residents have already suffered extensive delays."


Cabinet agreed the proposed works for the three blocks at Lydstep flats, at its September meeting.


New quotes  for the works have been assessed by independent consultant Mott Macdonald's cost management team, which has concluded that the tender is a true reflection of the current market cost. This is further supported by three or more market quotes for the work.


Proposals for replacing recladding at Loudoun and Nelson House will be considered separately at a later date.