SRM inspects hotel build after cladding ‘dislodged’

Sir Robert McAlpine closed a road around a hotel it is building in Woking while it carries out inspections, following cladding panels falling from the building.

An incident on Wednesday last week (20 October) saw the panels “dislodged” from the £500m Victoria Square hotel development, according to councillor Ayesha Azad, leader of Woking Borough Council.

Azad said representatives from the development and Sir Robert McAlpine met with Woking Borough Council to discuss the problem.

Azad said: “Yesterday (21 October), a detailed inspection of the area of concern was undertaken by SRM’s subcontractor, with further checks carried out today (22 October). As with any incident of this nature, SRM has mobilised their incident investigation team which includes independent advisers to fully scrutinise how and why this incident happened. With these investigations ongoing, it is inappropriate to speculate on the reasons why and how the panels became displaced.  

“On the grounds of public safety, Sir Robert McAlpine took the decision to close Victoria Way on Wednesday afternoon in agreement with Surrey Police. Victoria Way will remain closed to traffic between the junctions with Goldsworth Road and Lockfield Drive until SRM is fully satisfied that there is no further risk to the public and construction site.  

“Safety is my utmost concern and I would like to reassure members of the public that all partners involved fully understand the seriousness of the situation and are working collaboratively and expediently to resolve the matter.”

Sir Robert McAlpine has been contacted for comment.

Victoria Square, which features two 34-storey apartment towers and a 23-storey Hilton Hotel, had been due to open in summer this year. However, it is now set to open in spring 2022 after Sir Robert McAlpine suffered shortages of labour and materials as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

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