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Elated leaseholders have hailed the Daily Mail for ‘shaming’ their developer into paying to replace dangerous cladding on their building.

More than a hundred residents at The Decks, a six-building development in Runcorn, Cheshire, are set to be spared bills of up to £40,000 each.

Families say they feel liberated by the news and can now start planning their lives again. 

Leaseholder Phillip Symes said it was the ‘best Christmas present ever’. The retired sailor, 72, had been facing a bill worth half of the £80,000 he had paid for his two-bed flat

Leaseholder Phillip Symes said it was the ‘best Christmas present ever’. The retired sailor, 72, had been facing a bill worth half of the £80,000 he had paid for his two-bed flat

Leaseholder Phillip Symes said it was the ‘best Christmas present ever’. The retired sailor, 72, had been facing a bill worth half of the £80,000 he had paid for his two-bed flat

In February, the Mail reported leaseholders in three of the blocks at The Decks faced crippling bills to replace flammable cladding in their flats, while those in the other three wouldn’t have to pay a penny.

The divide came about after the Government announced its beefed-up cladding fund would only be available to those living in buildings above 18 metres tall. It meant half the blocks at The Decks would not qualify for funding despite being just one storey shorter than the others.

But just weeks after the Mail highlighted the injustice, developer Taylor Wimpey pledged £125million to fix fire-trap flats it had built in the past 20 years.

And last month leaseholders received an email from their managing agent stating: ‘We are confident the developer will fund Lock 6, 7 and 8 [the smaller blocks] in full.’

More than a hundred residents at The Decks, a six-building development in Runcorn, Cheshire, are set to be spared bills of up to £40,000 each

More than a hundred residents at The Decks, a six-building development in Runcorn, Cheshire, are set to be spared bills of up to £40,000 each

More than a hundred residents at The Decks, a six-building development in Runcorn, Cheshire, are set to be spared bills of up to £40,000 each

Leaseholder Phillip Symes said it was the ‘best Christmas present ever’. The retired sailor, 72, had been facing a bill worth half of the £80,000 he had paid for his two-bed flat.

He said the news Taylor Wimpey is set to fund the work was a ‘massive relief’ and he could now afford to visit his son and grandchildren in New Zealand.

He added: ‘I think Taylor Wimpey was shamed into it by the coverage. We can’t thank the Mail enough for its campaign.’

But Mr Symes said leaseholders still faced soaring insurance costs, which would not be rectified until their buildings were made safe.

Their premiums have soared by 1,000 per cent since 2019 due to safety fears. The company is yet to set a timetable for work to be completed.

Resident and campaigner Julie Fraser, 58, had said in February the developer should ‘hold their hands up’ and cover the costs. She added: ‘We, as leaseholders, didn’t create the problems… the developers are the ones with the deep pockets.’

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: ‘We have always been guided by the principle that the safety of our customers is of paramount importance.

‘Further updates will be provided to residents as soon as possible.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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