So, at last the scaffolding is being slowly taken down from the top floors of two of the Chalcot Towers exposing the new replacement cladding. Imagine the residents’ surprise that, instead of a single tone of colour, the building has at least three shades of finish! These are neither in a pattern nor intended. When attending all the earlier meetings on this project as a local Councilor, Camden were plain in their intention to have a single shade of anodised aluminium, not a varied mix. They even put up test panels for this purpose.
I wrote last week, to the Chief Executive and Cabinet Member for Better Homes asking that this be urgently looked into but at the time of writing, have received no reply.
Residents questioning the contractor about this have apparently been fobbed off with responses such as “it’s not different coloured cladding, it’s the way the sun reflects from it”. As builders’ excuses go this is along the lines of “no it’s not a leak, it’s a water feature”. Camden as client and McLaren as contractor cannot be allowed to let this messy appearance remain. It’s an embarrassment.
As it stands, the only available upside is that the cladding is now serving as an almost perfect metaphor for Camden Housing repairs; a patchwork of inadequacy surrounded by a wall of spin and excuses.
Former local Conservative Councillor