CLADDING is being replaced at Bournemouth flats due to new building regulations introduced after the devastating Grenfell fire in London.

Work is under way at Westbourne Heights in Prince of Wales Road.

Sovereign Housing Association won approval from the council to replace the cladding earlier this year.

At the time a report by planning officer Simon Gould said: "Due to recent changes in building regulations in respect of health and safety concerns regarding cladding on blocks of flats the applicants have stated that the existing cladding needs to be replaced with a new product.

"The applicant states that the colour and finish of the new cladding will be very similar and replicate that of the existing building.

"The only change will be the thickness of the new cladding which is slightly thicker than the existing cladding."

Helen Hann, divisional director at Sovereign, said: “As part of our regular safety reviews, we identified a range of measures we could take to improve the building and resident safety at Westbourne Heights.

"Given regulations and standards are constantly changing, we’ve decided to invest in improvements including retrofitting sprinklers in flats and replacing the cladding with a more modern, non-combustible material.

“Since early August our contractors have been removing the cladding and it’s progressing well.

"It is a significant project and it will take until next summer before the new panels have all been fitted.

"With staff based on site we’re working hard to keep residents informed throughout and to answer any questions they may have while we carry out these major improvements. ”

The new cladding is made of a thicker material but will not look any different.

Numerous tower blocks across the country have had their cladding replaced after the Grenfell fire in London, which cost 72 lives.

The 24-storey North Kensington tower block caught fire on June 14 2017 also caused injury to a further 70 people. More than 200 people managed to escape.