Nova House leaseholder accuses SBC of stalling building takeover

A leaseholder has accused Slough Borough Council (SBC) of deliberately delaying its takeover of a block of flats in Buckingham Gardens which failed a cladding safety test.

In October the council vowed to buy Ground Rent Estates 5 Ltd, the freeholding company of Nova House in Buckingham Gardens due to fears for residents’ safety.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, Nova House failed a cladding safety test and SBC did not think the freeholder was equipped to make the building safe.

It is not yet known whether insurers BLP will pay the estimated £4m for cladding and other improvement works.

If they don’t then the bill may be passed to leaseholders.

SBC says it has been carrying out due diligence on the building.

Leaseholder Richard Venables said: “There’s no due dilligence that takes four and a half months. Even if they were buying the whole of Lord Sugar’s empire it wouldn’t take four months.”

He accused SBC of waiting for BLP to pay out before making its commitment.

A SBC spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to carry out due dilligence as we want to do it properly and make sure we are fully informed in advance.

“We are not dragging our feet and it’s got nothing to do with insurance.”


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