He's been sharing his thoughts on social media
Who doesn’t love George Clarke? Any man that can get emotional over a makeover is a hero in our book, and we’re always interested in what he has to say – particularly if it’s about homes and house building. Recently, George has taken to Instagram to share his thoughts on exterior cladding – you can find him @MrGeorgeClarke.
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It’s been a hot topic since the Grenfell Tower fire, where flammable cladding installed in its renovation is believed to have led to the rapid spread of the fire. Poor cladding has also been shown to create cavities that draw fire up a building, in a chimney effect. It’s an issue that the Amazing Spaces presenter is clearly passionate about, for aesthetic and – more importantly – safety reasons.
After spotting this property on his travels this week, George felt compelled to post about it. ‘This development isn’t really that old,’ he says, ‘and look at the state of it! Awful! A badly designed and built cladding system that now needs to be replaced, no doubt at considerable cost.’
Talking about the disruption it will cause to replace the cladding, George adds ‘It could have all been avoided had the right design and build standards been applied in the first place.’ And plenty of people agree with him. The post already has nearly 1,700 likes and lots of comments in agreement. Vee8design says, ‘Seeing this more and more. Nothing seems to be built to last’.
Carolinaasmar6 had a stronger view, commenting, ‘Why is cladding so popular? It is UGLY. I am yet to walk past a building covered in the stuff and think “wow, look at that beautiful design and craftsmanship”. Usually the words “overgrown fridge” pop into my head when I see it’.
This isn’t the first time George has raised awareness of cladding issues. Only last month he posted this appeal to developers Lendlease.
George believes building owners should be responsible for removing potentially dangerous cladding. Certain types of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding have already been flagged by the Ministry of Housing as being ‘a significant hazard on buildings over 18m’. He’s adamant that the cost of replacing it shouldn’t be passed on to leaseholders directly, or through higher service charges. ‘Residents definitely shouldn’t have to pay and their lives are at risk in this building every day,’ he says.
In another post, George reveals that he’s met with leaseholders at Cypress Place and Vallea Court, Manchester. ‘I saw first hand how much stress and anxiety the flammable #claddingscandal is causing to so many residents. @lendleaseuk need to step up NOW to fully confirm that leaseholders aren’t forced to pay £18k+ each to make their homes safe. This has gone on long enough. Some small positive steps have been taken but @lendlease need to do the right thing and make the full and total commitment that is needed so people in this building can sleep safe in their homes at night.’
As George says, it seems there’s definitely more to be done to protect residents against potentially dangerous cladding. Would suspicious cladding put you off renting or buying a house or apartment?