Six weeks for developers to commit to cladding repairs

UK developers have been told they have six weeks to sign £2bn government contracts committing them to cladding repairs to resolve issues brought to light by the Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

Those who fail to sign the contracts to fix safety issues, not just related to fire safety, have been warned they will not be allowed to operate within the housing market.

Developers will need to provide an estimated £2bn under the legal agreement to go towards repairs, which combined with the government’s Building Safety Levy, will mean £5bn overall is going towards making buildings safe.

This latest development is hoped to protect households from unfair costs for safety issues, including non-cladding issues, created by developers. The contract will also require developers to reimburse taxpayer money which has been used to fix buildings.

concrete building

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, said: ‘Today marks another significant step towards righting the wrongs of the past and protecting innocent leaseholders, who are trapped in their homes and facing unfair and crippling costs.

‘Too many developers, along with product manufacturers and freeholders, have profited from these unsafe buildings and have a moral duty to do the right thing and pay for their repair.

‘In signing this contract, developers will be taking a big step towards restoring confidence in the sector and providing much needed certainty to all concerned.

‘There will be nowhere to hide for those who fail to step up to their responsibilities – I will not hesitate to act and they will face significant consequences.’

Last year, developers were required to pledge to make repairs on their buildings, leading to 49 public pledges from major property companies.

Legal processions have already begun to take place, with the government demanding in October that Grey GR Limited Partnership, the owner of a 15-storey tower in Stevenage, agree to make repairs or face court.

The Home Builders Federation has called on the government to take the same approach when targeting foreign developers and cladding manufacturers, saying they had a large part to play in safety issues.

Executive Director, Steve Turner, told The Times: ‘They need to stop knocking at the housebuilders’ door repeatedly and try going for others who also have a role to play. Constantly aiming at just the housebuilders has serious implications for businesses and housing supply.’

The cladding scandal has been plaguing households ever since it was revealed unsafe cladding exacerbated the fire at Grenfell Tower which killed 72 people in 2017.

487 buildings were identified as needing work to remove unsafe cladding, with work started or completed on 463 buildings by December 2022.

Photo by Scott Webb


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