Material on 600 towers is currently being tested, says DCLG, following Grenfell fire

The government has confirmed that combustible cladding features on three tower blocks in the UK, following last week’s fire at Grenfell Tower in west London.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) the blocks would not be identified until the landlords have had the opportunity to inform tenants.

A spokesman for the DCLG told Building that 600 towers which may have similar material to that fitted to Grenfell Tower were currently being tested, and results so far showed that three had the same material as that which clad the outside of the Kensington block.

The department can receive 100 samples a day, suggesting the research could be finished by early next week. However the spokesman declined to comment on timings, saying that gaining information would depend on how quickly local authorities and private landlords submitted samples for testing.

In a debate this morning in the House of Commons, prime minister Theresa May said she did not want to prejudice any criminal investigation by speculating on whether cladding was the cause of the blaze in Kensington which killed at least 79 people.

She stepped back from saying whether or not the cladding met building regulations, despite the chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, saying last weekend that it did not.

May also said that despite calls for sprinkler systems to be fitted to tower blocks, they were not suitable in all cases. A judge for the public inquiry into the disaster would be named shortly, she added.

MPs have been calling for more resources to be made available to councils to render their blocks safe for residents and for the remit of the public inquiry to include and hear from all those affected.