Our 8,400 word report prepared by the Barking Reach Residents Association committee and endorsed by the residents, draws many conclusions in relation to the fire.
We looked at the way the estate is managed. We looked at the very concepts behind having an entire private estate, dominated by private, faceless tax-haven dwelling landlords like Adriatic Land. And we looked at the way the estate as a whole is privately owned by Barking Riverside Limited – that is, by London and Quadrant and the Greater London Assembly.
At out interim Inquiry meeting, Dr Jonathan Evans exposed the failings of the government, as we report.
In brief, we conclude first that the fire spread rapidly up and across wooden balconies. The building has been declared to have been unsafe. But secondly, we conclude this was known in advance, as a result of the fire risk assessment of January 2019, and nothing was done to prevent the fire from taking place.
In the immediate aftermath of the fire, a meeting of 200 angry residents called by the Barking Reach Residents Association, discussed, amended and then unanimously agreed the following:
“That Bellway and the others involved in the construction and management of the estate were negligent because they failed to address their minds to the obvious risk from the wooden constructed balconies and cladding despite previous concerns raised by residents.”
We make three demands of the parties involved in Barking Riverside Limited, that is, London and Quadrant and the greater London Assembly, and of the local council:-
- Ensure that all flammable material is removed from all parts of the estate in consultation with residents, at the cost of the developer, landlord or government.
- Do not remove, but instead guarantee resident control over the estate
- Remove Adriatic Land from the estate