Government says developers must pay to fix cladding crisis

The Secretary of State has warned developers that they must pay to fix the cladding crisis that they caused.

Mr Gove today wrote to the industry, giving them a deadline of early March to agree a fully funded plan of action, including remediating unsafe cladding on 11-18 metre buildings, currently estimated to cost £4bn.

He warns he will take ‘all steps necessary’ to ensure the crisis is resolved, including restricting access to government funding and future procurements, the use of planning powers and the pursuit of companies through the courts.

He adds that if industry fails to take responsibility, the government will if necessary impose a solution in law.

low angle photography of high rise building

In the letter, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove said: ‘Our home should be a source of security and pride. For too many of the people living in properties your industry has built in recent years, their home has become a source of misery. This must change.

‘It is neither fair nor decent that innocent leaseholders, many of whom have worked hard and made sacrifices to get a foot on the housing ladder, should be landed with bills they cannot afford to fix problems they did not cause.

‘Government has accepted its share of responsibility and made significant financial provision through its ACM remediation programme and the Building Safety Fund. Some developers have already done the right thing and funded remedial works and I commend them for those actions. But too many others have failed to live up to their responsibilities.’

The Secretary of State asked companies to agree to:

  • make financial contributions to a dedicated fund to cover the full outstanding cost to remediate unsafe cladding on 11-18 metre buildings, currently estimated to be £4 billion
  • fund and undertake all necessary remediation of buildings over 11 metres that they have played a role in developing
  • provide comprehensive information on all buildings over 11 meters which have historic safety defects and which they have played a part in constructing in the last 30 years

The government will announce a decision on which companies are in scope for funding contributions following discussions with industry but expect it to cover all firms with annual profits from housebuilding at or above £10 million.

In related newsNewstart speaks to campaign group Justice4Grenfell to reflect on the Grenfell disaster and its impact on society, four years after the public inquiry was formally launched.

Photo by Markus Spiske


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