RESIDENTS in a Basingstoke apartment block will be able to open their windows during work to remove potentially dangerous cladding by ‘up to’ 10cm, it has now been said.

As previously reported, residents of Crown Heights are frustrated that they will not be able to use their balconies for 14 months and will lose the use of an outside children’s play area while work is carried out to replace the cladding on the building.

During a meeting with Barratts - the original developer of the building which has agreed to pay for the work - residents questioned whether sealing up windows and balconies for 14 months was “acceptable living conditions”.

READ MORE: Crown Heights residents frustrated over cladding work

At the meeting on September 28, a spokesperson for Barratts told residents: “We understand it’s not easy.”

The developer has since confirmed that the windows will open, but only up to 10cm and there will be no access to balconies.

It added: “Residents will still be able to open and close their windows, but restrictions need to be installed to prevent residents from accessing work areas for important safety reasons. Window restrictions normally allow residents to open their windows by up to 100mm.”

It is understood that the building will also be wrapped in some sort of netting, although Barratts has not confirmed what this material will be.

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The external cladding at Crown Heights, which has around 250 flats, contains the flammable material ‘expanded polystyrene’ and features no fire breaks.

It means the building is at risk of being engulfed if a fire broke out, similar to the tragedy that happened at Grenfell Tower in 2017.

The building failed an external wall system fire review certificate in 2021, leaving residents fearing for their safety and unable to sell their properties.

The work was due to start in September but has been delayed.