FLAMMABLE cladding will not be removed from two blocks of flats because it poses a ‘low’ fire risk, a council investigation following the Grenfell Tower tragedy concluded.

In the wake of the Kensington tower block fire that claimed the lives of 70 people in June last year, local authorities across the country were tasked with checking whether high rises in their area were covered in the same flammable cladding that accelerated the west London blaze.

Two blocks of flats in Waltham Abbey, at Springfields and Harveyfields, are covered in flammable materials, a report to be presented to Epping Forest District Council’s Communities Select Committee found.

Because there is no cavity to trap heat and to allow flames to rise however, the fire risk is deemed low enough for the cladding to remain in place.

A Council spokesperson said: "The cladding is going to stay as it is. The cladding and the insulation as installed at Springfields and Harveyfields both comply with the Building Regulations.

“They are designed and installed based on a sealed system i.e. with no cavity for any flame to pass and quickly spread across the building.

“Each of the installations have fire breaks built in at each floor zone to prevent the spread of fire.’’

As both buildings are lower than five storeys, less stringent regulations are required regarding insulation type and installation methods, because Fire Service access is unlikely to be hindered.

The spokesperson added: "Most building materials, including wood and plastic will catch fire in the right circumstances. The important thing is to control the spread of the fire so occupants can safely escape and/or the Fire and Rescue Service can safely evacuate and put the fire out.

"The risk of a fire occurring in any of these blocks with cladding is the same as would be with any building.

“The risk of the fire spreading via the cladding is low as there is no cavity for the heat and flames to rise, and since the buildings are under 15m tall, the local Fire and Rescue Service can respond and access all parts of the building to extinguish the fire quickly before it spreads."

In the report officers also suggest looking further into installing sprinkler systems in council owned sheltered accommodation and the high rises Norway House, North Weald and Hemnall House, Epping.

To read the report click here.