FIRE safety concerns were raised after cladding on a block of flats in Reading has failed to meet safety tests. 

The timber cladding at Chatham Place will need to be removed, and aluminium cladding will need further testing to see if it safe. 

While residents can stay in their homes, their car park has been closed in case of a vehicle fire spreading. 

Work to fix the situation could take up to three years, according to Atlantis Estates, who manage the block of flats. 

Andrew Strong, CEO of Atlantis Estates, said the unconfirmed timetable to reopen the car park is one to two months. 

He said: “We are now working swiftly to make alterations to considerably reduce the impact of a fire occurring in the car park on the rest of the building and once complete, the car park will be reopened.” 

The cladding is not the aluminium-composite material (ACM) that played a considerable part in the spread of the Grenfell Tower fire. 

READ MORE: Three buildings in Reading still have dangerous Grenfell-style ACM cladding

In the meantime, safeguarding measures include an extended fire alarm system and a waking watch protocol.

Mr Strong said: “Our meeting with Ardmore Construction [who built the flats] last week indicated they would be taking responsibility for the costs involved with replacing and bringing it into compliance.” 

While work on the car park takes place, residents can instead use council car parks. 

A spokesman for Reading Borough Council said: “We appreciate the temporary closure of the residents’ car park at Chatham Place will cause significant inconvenience to residents.

“The council stepped in very swiftly and made arrangements with the building’s managing agent for some residents’ parking to be made available at its car parks while the agent considers its initial actions.

“Q Park parking at Chatham Place remains open for public parking.” 

Reading Chronicle: Latest government data on buildings with ACM data (Source: MHCLG)Latest government data on buildings with ACM data (Source: MHCLG)

A spokesperson for the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said they have inspected and are aware of the concerns. 

They said: “We have been informed by the responsible persons of these buildings that the cladding, which is not ACM, may be a type which does not meet the relevant requirements of building regulations.

“We continue to work closely with the responsible persons and Reading Borough Council to make sure that the necessary interim control measures, as set out by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, are put in place to ensure the safety of residents.”