'Do the right thing': Upton Park protest staged over building safety crisis

protesters in green street

About 40 people protest outside Barratt's sales office in Green Street, Upton Park, on Saturday, June 5. - Credit: Jon King

A developer was urged to "do the right thing" at a protest sparked by the building safety crisis.

About 40 people raised placards and unfurled a banner reading "Barratt must pay" outside the firm's Upton Gardens development in Green Street, Upton Park, on Saturday (June 5).

The protest formed part of a national day of action targeting housing developers.

In a speech directed at Barratt chief executive David Thomas, Stephen Day of the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign said: "We want our buildings to be safe. We shouldn't have to pay for defective buildings.

"You are ignoring our pleas. Do the right thing for your customers."

Mr Day told the Recorder he faces paying up to £31,000 towards the cost of remedial work to remove flammable insulation from his home in Royal Artillery Quays.

"Leaseholders are being stitched up," he alleged.

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A spokesperson for Barratt said: "We are extremely sympathetic to the difficulties homeowners and leaseholders are facing as a result of the complex issues surrounding cladding guidance.

"While we do not own or have any legal responsibility for the buildings, we are helping the freeholders and management companies as they carry out reviews of their buildings.

"We are committed to working alongside them and other stakeholders to find solutions for leaseholders and residents."

Ben Fox, whose home is in Waterside Park, Royal Victoria Dock, said he pays £450 extra per month towards the cost of a waking watch patrol and increased insurance. He warned some neighbours face bankruptcy.

"Our message is simple: we want Barratt to fix our homes," he said.

The consultancy firm Hollis produced a report in March calling for the replacement of flammable insulation with a non-combustible alternative on blocks at Waterside Park.

Philip Chapman, who also lives on the estate in Thames Road, described a £5billion government fund to help cover cladding replacement costs as "a drop in the ocean".

He said the fund covered a fraction of an estimated £50billion bill to fix the issue across the country and did not include internal defects.

A government spokesperson said: "We have been clear owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders."

They added the mistakes of the past would be paid for via a new levy and tax.