MINISTERS are set to announce the demolition of Grenfell Tower, it has been reported.
It comes just over four years after a horror blaze ripped through the block of flats in West London, tragically killing 72 people.
According to the Sunday Times, the decision to pull down the remains of the building was made amid fears that its continued presence poses a safety risk to the local community.
This includes the Kensington Aldridge Academy, a secondary school for 1,200 children, which is located adjacent to the burnt building.
Consequentially, a range of experts hired by the government have advised that the tower should be “carefully taken down.”
One source said: “This decision is already at least a year overdue. The expert advice makes for grim reading and is unequivocal and the minister knows he needs to take action. Time is now very much of the essence.”
Another source added: “Safety must be paramount, especially when there is a school in such close proximity.”
Bereaved families have now been informed to expect a decision on the tower’s future later this month.
But, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) – who control the building – the block of flats won’t be pulled down before the fifth anniversary in June next year.
‘TOWER MEANS EVERYTHING TO US’
The demolition of the tower could prove controversial for some who lost loved ones when the fire struck on the morning of Wednesday, 14 June, 2017.
Nabil, 47, who lost six family members in the blaze, told the Sunday Times that the tower means “everything to us as this is where our loved ones died.”
He said: “It is the only thing that represents what happened to them, otherwise people forget what happened.”
For some local residents, however, the tower is a daily reminder of the tragedy.
One local, Jo, said: “At the moment it stands like a burnt-out shell. It needs to come down, but we just need to decide what to place there in memory.”
She added the current site stands as “a towering graveyard”.
Tiago Alves, 24, who lived in Grenfell for most of his life, said he wants the building to be maintained as a tribute.
“I like seeing it in the skyline. It gives comfort,” he said. “I don’t want it to be demolished, I want it to be there as a reminder of justice yet to come.”
A Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission, made up of representatives of the bereaved, survivors and local residents, have now said to have also established plans for a memorial on the site.
An MHCLG spokesman said: “We know how important and sensitive this decision is and no decision has been taken.
“Following important independent safety advice from structural engineers, we are engaging closely with the community as we consider the evidence, including the safety concerns raised, and what the future of the Grenfell Tower should be.
“We have now published this advice to ensure those most affected have access to the information that will inform a decision on the Tower, before one is reached.”
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