FRC’s Building Safety Co-Ordinator Helen Crosbie, attended the latest Grenfell Tower Inquiry drop-in session in London yesterday, 25th March.

The event was not well attended which makes you wonder if the former residents and their families and loved ones feel forgotten given the amount of time that has passed, or whether they are simply trying to get on with their lives.

Either way, we were able to learn a little more about how the inquiry is progressing and more importantly when we can expect the Phase 2 report to be released.

Tom Blackburn, Deputy Secretary to the Inquiry was able to tell us that they are in the last stages of preparing the Phase 2 report. Although previously they had hoped that the report would be ready to publish by April, it seems that will not be the case. They are now aiming to publish before the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire on 14th June which will mark the 7th anniversary of the tragedy.

The team are currently in the last phases, which involve tracking down all persons who are likely to be criticised in the report, to advise them of their findings and give them an opportunity to respond, which is required by law.

This is a complex administrative process that is taking longer than anticipated.

We also asked Tom whether works could begin on Grenfell Tower yet to build new housing on the site.

The answer is yes in theory, it could. The expert witnesses involved in the inquiry have completed their investigations so works could commence to the building itself to demolish and rebuild, or create something new on the site. As you might expect however, this is an emotive subject and opinions are mixed on what should happen to it. There are reportedly some in the local community who would prefer it to remain as a monument, while others would really rather not have to look at the ruined building anymore. DLUHC did indicate that any decision on the future of the derelict building would only be taken after community engagement. It will be interesting to see what decisions are made about its future in due course.

In the meantime we will be waiting to read the Phase 2 Inquiry report with great interest. This second and final report will take a deep dive into the causes of the tragedy and hopefully provide more information and insights that can help to keep people safer in the future.