Dozens of privately owned residential towers in London are fitted with aluminium composite material (ACM) combustible cladding, a Property Week investigation has found.

Grenfell Tower

Grenfell Tower had ACM cladding

Responses to a freedom-of-information request to all 33 London boroughs revealed that at least 86 residential blocks over 18m had been identified as having ACM cladding. The true number is likely to be far greater as eight boroughs declined to answer the request and two failed to respond at all.

Of the 31 boroughs that replied, 14 said they had at least one building with the cladding, which contributed to the rapid spread of fire in the Grenfell disaster last year, while nine said none of their buildings were clad in ACM.

The London borough with the highest number of ACM clad buildings was Greenwich with 29. This was followed by Brent and Wandsworth (both 12), Hounslow (six) and Croydon (five). Merton, Hackney and Ealing each have four affected buildings and Islington has three.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) last month unveiled a package of measures to encourage swifter action by private sector owners that included an “inspection team of experts to support councils in ensuring action is being taken”.

Last week, the secretary of state James Brokenshire chaired the first meeting of a new taskforce, which will oversee a national programme of remediation in the private sector.

The latest figures published by the MHCLG identified 301 private sector residential buildings over 18m (including hotels and student accommodation) as having ACM cladding systems.

The taskforce will set up the inspection team, which will be backed by £1m government funding and consist of experts from environmental health, building control and fire inspection. The team will support councils, enforce action and ensure building owners take the necessary action.

The 10 councils that declined or failed to respond to Property Week’s FOI request were Barnet, Bromley, the City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Kensington and Chelsea, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Westminster.

Data held by the MHCLG shows that Newham, Tower Hamlets and Westminster have 11 or more private and publicly owned buildings with ACM cladding systems that are unlikely to meet current building regulations guidance. Barnet and Haringey have at least six such buildings, and Bromley, the City of London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow and Kensington and Chelsea have between one and five.