RESIDENTS living in two Poole tower blocks surrounded by scaffolding are set for more misery as the fabricator of the buildings’ replacement cladding has gone bust.

BCP Council has met with and apologised to residents of Sterte Court in Poole for further delays to lengthy cladding replacement work after revealing the key materials supplier had gone into administration before the final five floors could be completed.

The council-owned residential towers have been the centre of mishaps and delays since January last year when work started on the removal of non-compliant cladding in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017.

Extensive work to replace the cladding had previously been completed in 2015, but had to be removed when it was revealed to be substandard.

Bournemouth Echo: Sterte Court in Poole, as seen in 2021Sterte Court in Poole, as seen in 2021

While residents were told last year the remediation work would take 40 weeks, it has instead lasted well over double that – with no indications being given as to when work will recommence.

Cllr Karen Rampton, portfolio holder for people and homes, said she shared the frustrations of residents who have been surrounded by scaffolding for almost two years.

She said: “The current delay to Sterte Court has been caused by a key materials supplier going into administration, and I absolutely share the frustrations experienced by those that call Sterte Court home.

“The majority of work to improve the fire safety and thermal quality of the buildings has been completed by our contractor, United Living, but the aluminium cladding to cover the bottom five floors has not yet been fitted.

“This is solely down to the [fabricator] of the panels entering insolvency before the final elements needed to complete the work were delivered to site.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Karen Rampton, inset, has met with residents of Sterte Court in Poole.Cllr Karen Rampton, inset, has met with residents of Sterte Court in Poole. (Image: Newsquest)

“Although we have sympathy for the staff at the manufacturer, this is of course hugely disappointing for everyone living in the buildings and working on the transformation project.

“Whilst these circumstances are subject to the current market challenges facing all in the building trade, we remain in regular communication with the administrators to find a way of getting the panels released and in the hands of United Living so that the work can be finished.

“The buildings remain safe to live in and I am reassured that United Living have the health and safety of residents uppermost in their mind whilst this work remains paused. I have met with the residents and will make sure they are kept updated.

“We are wholly focused on ensuring all improvements are completed as soon as possible and remain grateful to those living in Sterte Court for their patience whilst the project overcomes these challenges.”