MONTHS have passed by yet residents in several Southampton blocks are still living with unsafe cladding.

It was discovered in February that two blocks at Empire View and a block at Gantry Court have High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) and insulation cladding.

But a public government document states systems using any type of HPL panels with combustible insulation is “very unlikely to adequately resist the spread of fire”.

But Julian Chun, the property and strategic director of home provider VIVID - which owns the 115 homes at risk - said it would take “many months” to find a solution.

Daily Echo:

Gantry Court, Southampton

He said: “In February we announced to our customers living in Empire View and Gantry Court, Southampton, our decision to replace the high-pressure laminate (HPL) cladding on their buildings to ensure the highest level of safety in the event of a fire.

“We’ve engaged specialist consultants to help us identify the best replacement solution. This is likely to take many months as we want to find a solution that goes beyond current fire safety guidance.”

Daily Echo:

Julian Chun

It comes less than a week before the three-year anniversary of the Grenfell disaster.

The government have plans to provide a £1billion building safety fund to cover cladding removal works across the UK, but said access will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

One resident said: “Either way, it’s too little to cover all UK buildings affected.

“Given the fund is first-come-first-served, we’re still facing a stressful wait.”

A fire alarm system has been installed in all three blocks, with a 24/7 fire patrol.

Julian also said: “We’ve also kept up to date with new government announcements and policies in relation to cladding replacement works and will be applying for the new Building Safety Fund to support our work at Empire View and Gantry Court.

“To ensure customer safety, we’ve installed a fire alarm system in all three blocks. The Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will review this system before it goes live.

“Until then the 24/7 fire patrol will continue in post."