Thousands of military personnel living in tower blocks with unsafe cladding

Almost 2,500 military personnel at the UK’s nuclear deterrent base in Faslane are housed in tower blocks wrapped in unsafe cladding.

Safety concerns have been raised after it emerged HMNB Clyde, known colloquially as Faslane, has 22 high-rise accommodation blocks that are wrapped in flammable material, more than four years after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has previously acknowledged remedial work to remove the cladding has begun on just one of the blocks.

It has now confirmed that unsafe cladding is in place on 27 blocks, housing 3,396 military personnel, at five bases in the UK. Of those, 22 buildings at Faslane house 2,440 military personnel.

‘A matter of urgency’

Brendan O’Hara, an SNP MP who has Faslane in his constituency, warned there could be "devastating consequences" for personnel at the base.

Mr O’Hara said he was "astonished to hear the MoD, having known that the safety of thousands of naval personnel could be under threat due to living in accommodation with highly combustible cladding, has not taken action to have it removed immediately".

In a letter sent to Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, Mr O’Hara said it was his understanding that new blocks containing the cladding may have continued to be built after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

"I would welcome the reasons for this and for further information on whether buildings that continue to be erected as part of the expansion works are still being clad with these panels,” he said.

"Defence personnel and civilians working at the base deserve to be kept as safe as possible and I hope you will take steps to ensure this cladding is removed as a matter of urgency."

Labour said fire crews at the site must be restored to "their full strength" and there must be "firm deadlines" to remove the cladding.

Jeremy Quin, a defence minister, said the MoD "is carrying out remedial work or investigating remedial options" on the 27 high-rises.

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