Letter to local authorities follows Arup probe at south-east London estate

Ledbury Estate

The government has written to local authorities across the country to advise them to take action to ensure the safety of buildings similar to the four tower blocks in Peckham which make up the Ledbury Estate in south-east London.

It follows an investigation by engineer Arup into the structure of the towers at the estate in Peckham following reports from residents of cracks in walls and ceilings and the engineer’s recommendation that the gas pipe network in the building be turned off and completely removed as the buildings did not meet regulations for buildings with piped gas.

The Ledbury Estate towers (pictured), built between 1968 and 1971, should have been strengthened according to government recommendations that were issued for towers with a large panel design after the Ronan Point collapse in 1968 when a gas explosion led to the deaths of four people.

The communities department said local authorities should discover what buildings have piped gas under their management, if or when strengthening work on these buildings has been carried out and subsequently take action to ensure that any buildings with piped gas can carry it safely.

The department added that wherever similar structural gaps in the buildings are reported they should be sealed to restore fire compartmentation using fire resistant material.

Meanwhile, communities secretary Sajid Javid has written to the former residents of Grenfell Tower to enable them to contribute to the public inquiry into the tragedy which began this week.