UPDATE: Thursday, July 7th
We can confirm that we are aware of remedial measures that have been put in place at the Rialto Building by the responsible person.
The introduction of a robust waking watch means we are confident that one of the four residential blocks have measures in place that will allows some residents to return to their homes until all issues are fully remediated.
As such, we are removing a prohibition notice on a section of the Rialto Building that affects 36 of the 68 flats at the building. A notice will remain on the other three blocks, containing the remaining 32 flats and the car park.
It is the responsibility of the responsible person of the building to put remedial measures in place for the remainder of the building and to ensure compliance with fire safety legislation.
We will offer them support to be able to do this as quickly as possible but the onus for this work is on the responsible person and we will not lift our prohibition notice until we are confident that there is no risk to residents.
We understand these prohibition notices have caused upheaval for residents and we would reiterate that we only take this approach when all alternative options have been exhausted.
Original statement: Tuesday, June 27th
Today (Tuesday, June 27th) Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service have served a prohibition notice on sections of the Rialto Building in Newcastle due to concerns about fire safety.
The prohibition notice has been served on the property management company. This has led to a number of residents at the building being asked to temporarily leave the premises until remedial work can be carried out by those responsible for the building to address concerns raised with the fire and rescue service.
Please find below statements from both Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) and Newcastle City Council, who have been working together with TWFRS to address the fire safety concerns.
A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) spokesperson said:
“Individuals or organisations responsible for high rise premises have a statutory responsibility to ensure their premises are compliant with fire safety legislation and to produce reports for the fire and rescue service to confirm this.
“We support management companies and responsible persons whom are responsible for the safety arrangements within these buildings so as to mitigate any risks to residents, or the wider public. The Fire and Rescue Service are responsible for ensuring that the safety arrangements are suitable and sufficient to ensure public safety.
“This week we were made aware of fire safety concerns at the Rialto Building on Melbourne Street, Newcastle, by the management company responsible for the premises.
“Following intensive and detailed consideration by our fire safety experts, we have taken the decision to issue prohibition notices covering parts of the building. This was due to immediate concerns around the safety of residents, in the event of a fire at the building, and in light of new information that was brought to our attention.
“This means residents at the property will be required to leave the premises until the company responsible for the buildings can undertake mitigating actions to resolve the issues identified.
“It is the responsibility of the responsible person of the building to ensure compliance with legislation and we will offer support with remedial work they need to carry out to ultimately allow affected residents to return to their homes.
“We understand this will cause upheaval for those residents. We only take this approach when all alternative options have been exhausted. However, the safety of residents will always be our paramount concern.”
A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said:
“Safety of residents is our top priority and we are supporting the fire service following their decision to issue this notice.
“We understand this decision has not been taken lightly but safety is the paramount concern. We will be working with the building management to ensure suitable accommodation is available to those who require it.
“We hope remedial works can be resolved as quickly as possible so residents can return to their homes.”