Devonport tower block flats asked to move out over 'fire safety deficiencies'

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image captionResidents from 42 flats have been asked to move out over fire safety concerns

Residents of 42 flats in a tower block have been advised to move out due to "fire safety deficiencies".

Plymouth City Council (PCC) issued emergency prohibition notices on the Latitude 52 block flats in Devonport.

A recent inspection by the fire service found failings including faulty fire alarms and blocked escape routes.

The order will remain in place until "sufficient steps have been taken to reduce the risk associated with fire", a PCC spokesperson said.

Some residents have chosen to continue living in the building against the advice of the council.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service found the failings while carrying out a recent inspection related to the cladding of high-rise buildings.

It raised concerns with the council after finding problems that also included ventilation systems not working and combustible materials in the atrium.

image captionThe building was a former sailor's rest centre and converted into 102 apartments following permission in 2004

In addition, two further apartments have been banned for the purpose of Airbnb and the use of the underground car park has been prohibited.

The fire service said it is working with the council and the owners of the building to make sure the necessary improvements are made.

Matt Garrett, PCC's service director of community connections said: "Some people have gone against our advice and have stayed in the property.

"We've worked with the freeholder to put some of the measures in place so we're confident that the risks have been minimised. And we will continue to work with the freeholder to make sure that all the measures are put in place so that we can remove the prohibition order as soon as possible."

Two households have been placed in emergency accommodation.

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