Almost 1,000 residents of Notting Hill Genesis development asked to leave immediately
One of London’s largest housing associations has told around a thousand residents to leave a development immediately because of safety concerns relating to the construction of the buildings.
Notting Hill Genesis is now carrying out a comprehensive safety review across the residential development in Brentford, west London, following expert advice that residents may have been at risk.
Paragon is a development of six blocks containing a total of 1,059 homes. It was developed by Berkeley First, part of The Berkeley Group.
The estate was owned initially by the former Presentation Housing Association, which became part of Notting Hill Housing – now Notting Hill Genesis – in 2009.
Notting Hill Genesis said it would ensure that all residents in the Paragon estate were offered safe alternative accommodation this week. It will also work with residents to find a longer-term solution to their housing needs where necessary.
The further investigations will establish the full extent of the structural and fire safety issues that have been uncovered at the development and identify next steps.
Earlier building performance issues, together with fire safety issues related to the cladding and the new government guidance since the fire at Grenfell Tower, had triggered a series of safety checks at Paragon. Technical consultants then found further problems with the development.
Notting Hill Genesis had taken some action to address the risks, including establishing waking watches and temporary alarms, and introducing simultaneous evacuation procedures. But the latest findings prompted the group to take more drastic action to protect its residents.
Kate Davies, group chief executive of Notting Hill Genesis, said: “I understand that Paragon residents may feel angry or alarmed by this news, as they have every right to be. This is a very distressing time and we are genuinely sorry for the huge amount of disruption and uncertainty that this situation will cause.
“This is a complex situation and we don’t yet have all the answers. We are working to uncover the full extent of the issues at Paragon so that we can provide residents with clarity about timescales, next steps and options as quickly as possible.”
Information on Paragon project
Paragon is a scheme that was developed for Presentation Housing Association Limited and Touareg Trust, which was originally a subsidiary of Presentation Housing, by Berkeley First Limited. Presentation transferred its engagements to Notting Hill Housing Trust in 2009. Paragon comprises eight blocks that reached practical completion 2006.
The development comprises six blocks of residential and student accommodation, plus two commercial buildings that are not owned by Notting Hill Genesis group.
The six blocks consist of the following:
- Block A - a five-storey building consisting of 41 units of intermediate market rent.
- Block B – three interconnected buildings of four, five and nine storeys with 107 shared ownership leasehold units and 72 intermediate rent.
- Blocks C, D, E and F - 17, 12, 12 and five-storeys respectively, hold a combined 839 units of student accommodation which is occupied by students nominated by the University of West London.
The freeholds of Blocks C through F are owned by Touareg Trust, which is a registered charity and is a subsidiary of Notting Hill Genesis.
Blocks A and B are owned by Notting Hill Genesis. Notting Hill Home Ownership Limited, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Notting Hill Genesis, holds a long leasehold interest at Block B where the shared ownership homes are located.
None of the homes at Paragon is owned or managed by Folio London Limited.
None of the sites at Paragon are charged to any public bondholder.