Construction giants Lendlease have agreed to pay a cladding bill in two of Manchester’s Green Quarter tower blocks following what has been described as a “landmark battle”.
The Liberal Democrats on Manchester council demanded that Lendlease be blacklisted from council contracts until they agreed to pay the fee, according to a party spokesperson.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, residents had been campaigning for just under two years to make their homes safe - after it was found that their homes were covered with similar cladding to the Kensington tower block.
“We absolutely can’t believe it,” Fran Reddington, one of the residents, told The Guardian.
“It has been a huge burden. We know we still live in a dangerous building but now we have the funds they can start work. This should give hope to other people in the same situation. It should put pressure on other developers.”
Manchester Liberal Democrat Leader, John Leech said: “This is a huge, huge win for local people and I’m delighted that Lendlease and Pemberstone have finally taken responsibility and will pay for the new cladding. I really hope this sets a precedent across the country.
“It is, however, a sad fact that Manchester Council ignored Lib Dem demands to strip Lendlease of the Town Hall contract and refused to publicly call on them to pay the bill.
“The fact that they even considered awarding a contract worth more than a quarter of a billion pounds to a firm that has treated Manchester residents so appallingly shows just what little regard this council has for local people - and that needs to change.”
“The Liberal Democrats will always be on the side of local people, not in the pocket of developers.”
At the time, Manchester Council’s deputy leader, Nigel Murphy said Lendlease “offered the best overall value” and “opportunities for local people.” He also said they did not consider “external factors”.
A Lendlease spokesperson said: “We can confirm residents will not need to pay for the costs of replacement cladding. The process, which has involved multiple companies, has taken longer than anyone would have liked, and we regret how unsettling it has been for residents.
“We did not design, build or currently own the Vallea Court and Cypress Place buildings within the Green Quarter development and have worked with, and through others, to reach this outcome.”