Troubled Tottenham towers to topple…

Broadwater Farm blocks earmarked for demolition amidst collapse fears.

More than 200 homes on the Broadwater Farm estate in north London are at risk of catastrophic collapse and all the families are to be urgently moved out following tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Two residential blocks, which were completed in the early 1970s are among 11 buildings on the Tottenham estate that failed structural tests, are the most seriously affected and are likely to be demolished.

The tests uncovered serious structural failings, which make the homes vulnerable to collapse in the event a gas pipe or gas canister explodes or a vehicle strikes the base of the buildings. Tangmere House, a six-storey block, and Northholt, an 18-storey block, are those worst affected.

The estate was the scene of riots in 1985 in which PC Keith Blackelock was killed. Its blocks were built using the same large-panel system used on Ronan Point, where a gas explosion in 1968 caused progressive collapse, killing four people.

The type of tests the buildings failed were initiated following that disaster but the problems at Broadwater Farm were only uncovered in the last 12 months.

“Neither Tangmere nor Northolt can remain occupied long-term as they are in their current structural state,” the London Borough of Haringey said in a report into the problems. “The presence of piped gas in Tangmere continues to pose a health and safety risk to residents. Tangmere failed structural tests, which means there is a risk of progressive collapse from an explosion caused by piped gas or from an explosion from a lower impact event such as a vehicle strike or bottled gas explosion.”

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