Government apologises for disturbance at Grenfell Tower

The government has apologised for “disturbance” to residents from activities related to the ongoing project work at Grenfell Tower.

Matt Hogan, a civil servant at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), said works were attempted outside normal hours on two occasions in the past month.

Last year, Deconstruct UK took over from Wates as the principal contractor managing the Grenfell Tower site.

It is responsible for 24-hour monitoring of the building, removing heavy and damaged items and asbestos, installing weight-bearing props and general maintenance.

Hogan said in a monthly update to residents: “We’ve been made aware on two occasions of lorries from UK Power Networks attempting to undertake works outside of normal site hours of 8am to 6pm. They were refused entry to the site. However, we know it did cause a disturbance to people living close by, and apologies for that.

He added: “We aim for the daily average noise level to not exceed 70 decibels, and when that level is reached, contractors are alerted so we can take action as soon as possible. Generally, the average noise levels hover around 60dB […] However, on 24 May, the works by UK Power Networks slightly exceeded 70dB and we were quickly in contact with them to bring those back down.”

Meanwhile, Deconstruct UK project manager Gary Walsh told residents at the meeting that the first phase of steel-propping works had been completed in May, with a second phase now under way and due to complete in September.

All asbestos had now been removed from the tower, he added, and background monitoring remained in place.

Communities secretary Michael Gove wrote to residents this year, saying he wanted to carry out further conversations before making a decision on the future of the tower.

The government insisted in February that a notice for a new monitoring contract for Grenfell Tower was not linked to a pending decision on the building’s future.

The tragic fire at the west London tower claimed 72 lives in June 2017, and work has been under way since then to keep the structure safe.

UK Power Networks and Deconstruct UK have been contacted for comment on the disturbances reported.

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