Project overview

This page was last updated 13 April 2022

What is happening at Wellend Villas?

Wellend Villas is under 18m in height. When we refer to Wellend Villas here we are including all three blocks.

We know that the buildings were built at different times but we are dealing with all the blocks at the same time as part of our building safety programme. It is part of the second phase of the programme which is now underway. You can find out more about how our building safety programme works, general guidance for leaseholders who are looking to sell or remortgage and what to expect here.

What steps have we taken at Wellend Villas?

1. Completed preliminary investigations

Our experts have completed preliminary investigations into the building materials used at Wellend Villas and we have received the architect and engineer’s draft preliminary findings.

2. Review the preliminary findings

We have reviewed the initial findings. These have unfortunately revealed that we need to carry out some remedial work to the buildings to ensure that they comply with the Government’s guidelines. The exact extent of these has yet to be determined.

3. The preliminary investigation showed that:

We need to install some horizontal and vertical firebreaks behind areas of the cedarwood timber wall covering.

We need to carry out remedial work to the cavity barriers around windows surrounded by the cedarwood because at least some of these have not been installed as recommended.

The cedarwood timber and insulation beneath will likely need to be replaced but we need to do some more surveys to understand the extent of that work.

4. In April 2021, we held open meetings to allow residents the opportunity to meet with the team working at Wellend Villas, and ask any questions that they may have regarding the work taking place.

5. In June 2021, our consultants undertook the further intrusive investigation into the wall structure at Wellend Villas. 

In the meantime, what are you doing to ensure residents are safe?

While we carry out the more detailed investigations into the remedial work we have taken advice from the fire brigade and our fire safety engineers. This is to ensure that your homes have the right additional precautions in place to ensure your safety in the event of a need to evacuate the buildings.

This advice is that:

1. We should install additional smoke detection and alarms to supplement the existing system

Further to our update earlier in the month, we have now completed the installation of the communal fire panels across each of the three buildings, alongside installing the sensors and detectors required in most of the homes at Wellend Villas, although we still need to gain access to around 10 apartments.

2. Changing the fire evacuation policy to simultaneously evacuate
While we complete the remedial works, we have changed the evacuation policy today from “stay put” to “evacuate” in the event of a fire. We have changed the signage in your building to reflect this.

More information on fire safety can be found here.  

What happens next?

Residents may be aware of a number of announcements that have been made over recent months regarding changes to the way that buildings are assessed. The Government has withdrawn its previous guidance in favour of an industry standard known as PAS 9980 guidance, which has been developed by the British Standards Institute (BSI). It replaces the previous government guidance that had been in place since January 2020. This new approach has been adopted by RICS and the Government and one reason for its introduction is that it gives an increase in the flexibility allowed when investigating a building for the purpose of gaining an EWS1 form.

PAS9980 requires us to complete an external wall fire risk assessment. This allows the consideration of other building factors such as, compartmentation and fire alarms when assessing the external make-up of the wall. Unfortunately, because of the stringent and firm requirements of the previous EWS1 survey guidance, the assessors were not able to do this.

At present, we cannot say for definite whether there will be a change in EWS1 rating, or if the work currently required will be reduced. However, by undertaking this exercise, residents will be able to have confidence that all work being done is necessary under the more current guidance. This is in line with Michael Gove’s announcement on a proportion approach to cladding remedial works.

This process should not require any further physical investigation work, as all the necessary information will be available to our fire assessors from the original inspections.

We will be communicating regularly about progress - please make sure we have your most up to date email address so that we can send you updates.

We will keep this microsite updated with information as this becomes available.