Materials deemed a fire hazard in £25m refurb were changed to “low risk” in new regulations to allow project to continue.
A multi-million pound tower cladding project was almost scrapped amid fire safety fears – before the Scottish Government changed the rules and deemed them safe.
West Dunbartonshire Council were forced to suspend work adding controversial insulation panels to hundreds of homes in 2013, when they were feared to be a hazard.
But the local authority was spared from having to ditch the scheme when strict building standards regulations were “recategorised” by safety officials as being “low risk”.
An official West Dunbartsonshire Council document discovered by the Sunday Mail revealed how the programme, which cost more than £25million, was saved by a late change to safety rules.
The project was handled by Glasgow-based Turner Facilities Management.
Since the Grenfell Tower disaster in London, there have been concerns that bending of the rules has made housing stock across the UK unsafe.
And it was only a rule change that allowed West Dunbartonshire to plough on with their insulation programme.
The cladding used across the Scots council area is called Swisslab Grey EPS and produced by Alumasc. It is made of glassfibre and polystyrene.
The panels used to refurbish Grenfell Tower, produced by Reynobond PE, were made of aluminium with a polystyrene core and are banned in the US and Germany.
Alumasc and West Dunbartonshire Council yesterday insisted the cladding used in their refurbishment project was safe.
But a whistleblower said: “It is concerning that West Dunbartonshire Council were forced to suspend work for months because its cladding wasn’t totally fireproof.