CLADDING on the outside of a Pitsea block of flats is dangerous, it has been confirmed... but will not be removed until next spring.

The news comes after a year-long investigation at Cleves Court and Aragon Court off Station Lane, Pitsea, by housing association Notting Hill Genesis, the owners and managers.

Serious concerns have surrounded the findings, conducted following last summer’s Grenfell Tower tragedy which saw at least 71 people lose their lives.

It was revealed the cladding around the top floor of the flats was the same as that used on the fateful tower in West London.

Following the release of the report, a resident of Cleves Court, who asked not to be named, said: “It would be good to see action rather than just the council saying something needs to be done.

“If something is not safe then it needs to be removed, so we can be.

“I’m concerned that if someone has a fire up there, that could spread along the whole floor and everybody will be in danger.”

Kerry Smith, Basildon Council’s chairman of the housing and community committee, added: “If nothing has been done in almost a year it is outrageous.

“That cladding needs to be removed from the top floor post haste.

“If there was a fire and the building was fully cladded, then everyone would have to get out.”

The Echo contacted the housing association following the release of an Essex County Council report which stated a need for “urgent action” to tackle any dangerous cladding in high rise flats, in light of the Grenfell disaster.

A spokesman for Notting Hill Genesis, said: “We obtained fire engineering advice following the identification of non-compliant cladding at Aragon and Cleves Courts in Pitsea, and we were advised the risk is low due to the limited extent of the material on the external walls and their relatively low height.

“Nevertheless, they recommended the eventual replacement of cladding with a suitable material within 18 months – by Spring 2019 – to eliminate even that low risk.

“We shall follow our expert’s recommendations and ensure recladding within that timeframe.”

It was in July last year, the Echo first reported Aragon Court and Cleves Court residential flats were a concern.

Following the release of the council’s report, the Genesis spokesman, added: “We will take account of any recommendations agreed by Essex County Council and factor them in to any forward planning regarding the use of cladding on existing or future developments in the area.”

David Finch, leader of the council, said: “The Grenfell tragedy’s legacy must not be that local authorities failed to learn lessons and heed warnings.

“I am grateful to Andy Fry and the independent commission for their work. It was a thorough examination of our estate and property portfolio.

“The report praises much in our approach and intentions and contains actions which we are now undertaking or will undertake.

“Some of those actions involve us working with third parties, but we must ensure this happens if we are to ensure that our employees, schoolchildren and vulnerable adults live and work in buildings which are even safer in the future than today.”