‘UNSAFE’ cladding will be removed from an apartment block in the town centre after replacement plans were given the all-clear.

The Hunsacker, Hermitage, Halcyon and Haywards buildings at Chatham Place on Alfred Street will have their ‘high-risk’ external facades and timber decking on their balconies replaced following planning permission.

Investigations had revealed that due to the materials used within the façade and missing or defective fire barriers, the building is “a high risk in the case of fire”.

The site is therefore subject to a “Waking Watching” regime, which means fire marshals must patrol the blocks 24 hours a day looking for signs of fire.

READ MORE: Grenfell-style cladding removed from third building in Reading

The cladding at the site is not the aluminium-composite material that played a considerable part in the spread of the Grenfell Tower fire, but councillors stressed the importance of making sure the work was completed quickly following the 2017 tragedy.

Labour councillor Tony Page said: “It’s obviously important that these works are carried out as soon as possible.

“I hope colleagues will understand the national context within which this work is essential.

“I think the proposed materials before us are suitable and local councillors support the work being carried out as soon as possible.”

READ MORE: Council approves works to replace potentially dangerous cladding

A planning officer said the removals may cause some short-term noise and disturbance for neighbours, but the removal of the “unsafe” materials was a “matter of urgency” and that these works were “essential.”

Labour councillor John Ennis added: “Post-Grenfell, it’s vital that Reading rids itself of any cladding that could be seen as potentially dangerous.

“The council had a clean bill of health from fire authority and external inspectors and verifiers, which we really welcomed.

“But there was a section for private sector blocks of flats that had cladding that had problems.

“It’s good to see this is getting sorted as quick as possible so we can reassure residents.

READ MORE: High fire risk at Reading flats revealed

“There are very few left in Reading now, although there are some, so we’ve really got to make sure we use planning as quickly as possible to replace these.”

The proposals were unanimously approved at a meeting of Reading Borough Council’s planning applications committee on Wednesday, March 3.