Combustible cladding still wraps a high-rise apartment block in the centre of Swindon, more than six years since the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The Paramount building, a block of flats on Princes Street, is wrapped in the flammable material expanded polystyrene (EPS), foam insulation and timber cladding.

It means that should a fire affect or involve the external wall, there could be "significant" consequences.

And work to remove this potentially deadly material has been delayed for almost two years because of the planning process.

In January 2022, owners Mainstay, now part of a group by property management company FirstPort, applied to be allowed to change the render and cladding on the outside of the building.

In 2022 the application included an inspection of the building which said: “This building has external walls that include a large portion of combustible materials, i.e. EPS insulation, foam insulation and timber cladding.

"As such, the consequences of a fire affecting or involving the materials in the external walls has the potential to be significant.”

EPS is a flammable material which is similar to that which wrapped Grenfell Tower.

The London tower block caught alight in June 2017, killing 72 people.

In a covering letter, the owners of the Paramount building said: “It should be noted that there is a clear importance to remediate the building as soon as possible both from a resident’s safety perspective and the timescales required from [the government’s] Building Safety Fund."

The work was to be done to remove the combustible cladding and replace it with material which fitted the government’s guidance and the law on buildings which had been brought in since the disaster.

But while a certificate of lawfulness was granted in January last year, the work has not been carried out.

And the owners have now had to apply for another consent because the materials they want to use are different in colour to the original they planned to use.

The wood cladding will be replaced with a darker wood effect cement cladding and the render will also be replaced.

A spokesperson for FirstPort said: “We look forward to working with all parties to support the completion of the remedial works required at Paramount.

“This includes working alongside the appointed contractor to submit an amended planning application to ensure we are compliant with current legislative requirements.

“We welcome the news that remedial works have started, and we’ll continue to do all we can to support leaseholders, including keeping them regularly updated as the works progress.”

No decision on the more recent application has yet been made.

  • Are you a resident at the Paramount building? The Adver would like to hear about your experience living here. Contact us in confidence by emailing, or call 01793 501775.