Structural experts have “unambiguously and unanimously” advised the building should be carefully taken down.
Ministers are expected to announce that Grenfell Tower will be demolished due to safety concerns, more than four years after the fire that tore through the west London block of flats killing 72 people.
The development has been met with shock by those affected by the tragedy who say they were promised no decision would be made without the full consultation of bereaved families and survivors.
Structural engineering experts hired by the government have “unambiguously and unanimously” advised that the tower should be “carefully taken down,” the Sunday Times has reported.
Senior Whitehall sources told the newspaper the decision to demolish the building is a “fait accompli” due to concerns that the structure’s continued presence poses a safety risk to the local community.
Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, has also been told that the building poses a risk to Kensington Aldridge Academy, which is located near to the tower.
Government officials have told bereaved families to expect a decision on the future of the tower block later this month.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) took over ownership of the building in 2018 and had told families and survivors that the tower block would not be pulled down before the fifth anniversary of the fire in June 2022.
Grenfell United, which represents survivors and bereaved families has met the lastest development with shock saying it was “given the promise that no decision would be made on the future of the tower without full consultation with the bereaved and survivors.”
In a statement, it said: “The government has engaged in fewer than 10 of the bereaved and survivors on this matter and with such a wide range of viewpoints across all affected families, we struggle to understand why this would be pushed through so quickly.”
Criticising the “limited legislation” which has been passed since the Grenfell fire “to keep people safe in their homes” Grenfell United added: “How can the tower be demolished before the legal process concludes, when no judge in the land can confirm it won’t hinder future criminal prosecutions?
“Justice is important to us all and anything that may prevent justice must not be an option.”
It said while many in the community accepted the demolition of the tower was inevitable the timeline needed to be decided by survivors, the bereaved and the community “not the government – who have done nothing to make the changes needed to prevent it happening again.”
Since the Grenfell fire in June 2017, a number of proposals have been put forward as to what should happen to the charred structure including turning it into a vertical forest.
An MHCLG spokesperson said: “We know how important and sensitive this decision is and no decision has been taken.
“Following important independent safety advice from structural engineers, we are engaging closely with the community as we consider the evidence including the safety concerns raised, and what the future of the Grenfell Tower should be.
“We have now published this advice to ensure those most affected have access to the information that will inform a decision on the Tower, before one is reached.”