UK to announce demolition of Grenfell Tower over safety concerns

UK to announce demolition of Grenfell Tower over safety concerns
2 min read
05 September, 2021
Rober Jenrick, the Housing Secretary, is set to announce the demolition of Grenfell Tower over safety concerns to the local community, failing to consult survivors and bereaved families.
The announcement of the Grenfell Tower demolition will come later this month [Getty]

UK ministers are expected to announce the demolition of Grenfell Tower this month amid safety concerns after the devastating fire took place more than four years ago, leaving 72 people dead. 

Structural engineering experts employed by the government have "unambiguously and unanimously" suggested that the tower should be "carefully taken down", a report by The Sunday Times said.

A senior Whitehall source also said the decision to tear down the building had been decided before those affected have had a say in the matter due to fears its presence poses a safety risk to the local community, The Sunday Times report added. 

Rober Jenrick, the Housing Secretary, was told that the 24-level building risks causing harm to the local community, particularly the Kensington Aldridge Academy in west London, located directly next to the charred tower and schools 1,200 children. 

Bereaved families have been informed by government officials that they can expect a resolution to the future state of the building later this month. 

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Grenfell United, a group formed of survivors and families of the tragedy, released a statement on Saturday saying they were shocked to read the news in The Sunday Times "given the promise by the government that no decision would be made [...] without full consultation with the bereaved and survivors".

"Many of the Grenfell Community accept the removal of the tower will always be a case of when not if, but the timeline needs to be decided by the bereaved, survivors, and community, not the government - who have done nothing to prevent the changes needed to prevent it happening again," the statement added. 

In May the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt sent a letter to residents of the tower "reassuring" them that  "no change to the Tower before the fifth anniversary in 2022" and those affected will "have access to the information that will inform a decision on the Tower before it is made".

Before the fire took place on 14 June 2017, residents had been reporting fire safety concerns but they were ignored by the government and even threatened with legal action.

"Justice is important to us all and anything that may prevent justice must not be an option," concluded the statement by Grenfell United.