Government forces developers to fix cladding crisis: Industry reacts

by: Mary-Anne Bowring/Development Finance Today

The government has warned developers that they must pay to fix the cladding crisis as it overhauls its approach to building safety.

Secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove, has today (10th January), written to the industry giving them a deadline of early March to agree a fully funded plan of action.

This includes remediating unsafe cladding on 11-18-metre buildings, currently estimated at £4bn.

He has warned that he will take “all steps necessary” to make this happen, including restricting access to government funding and future procurements, the use of planning powers, and the pursuit of companies through the courts. 

If the industry fails to take responsibility, he said that the government will impose a solution in law, if necessary.

Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley, said that today’s announcement was “vindication for thousands facing astronomical costs” that come with replacing unsafe cladding.

“Those imprisoned by these costs still face an uphill struggle, as funding will only cover cladding replacement when new legislation mandates much more substantial changes to meet fire safety compliance, which come at a steep cost. 

“We ought to also question how this funding will be secured, the accessibility of grants, and the transparency of a system which transfers responsibility from the true culprits who were largely wound down and disappeared post-Grenfell, to developers more broadly who face a blanket tax for the failure of a few.”


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