Today, there is some much needed festive cheer for flat owners living in buildings with potentially dangerous cladding. The Government has announced that the deadline for its £1.6bn Building Safety Fund will be extended until next summer.
This gives building owners more time to submit their applications for funding and means that instead of the March 2021 deadline for works to begin, projects now have a few more months - until 30 September - to start on site. Announcing the changes, MHCLG have specifically asked that property managers who are responsible for submitting applications for funding, undertake a review of our buildings and ensure that only blocks which are likely to meet the technical eligibility requirements are registered with the fund. The Government also points out that an EWS1 form is not a substitute for a professional fire risk assessment, and that these must still be carried out by a competent professional. Kingspan insulation has been under the microscope in recent weeks as the Grenfell inquiry continues. MHCLG now advises that where risk assessments have relied on the BS8414 tests for Kingspan materials, the wall system assessments should be reviewed in light of those being withdrawn. An additional Christmas bonus also comes in the form of a new £30m fund to help building owners install fire alarm systems in blocks with a waking watch in place or where one is about to be set up. The fund will open in January so watch this space for more details when they are published.
This year, despite the stresses on our industry created by the pandemic, property stakeholders including ARMA and the IRPM aswell as leaseholder groups have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to try and bring the very serious problems being faced by millions of flat onwers around the country to the attention of government. The issue is now getting plenty of airtime on the radio and column inches in the press and questions are being asked in Parliament. At Ringley we have been involved in a number of events raising awareness of the issues around EWS1 forms and its a topic that we've blogged about many times in recent months. All this hard work is now clearly paying off and an extension to the deadline for the non-ACM cladding fund is very welcome indeed. But a lot more funding will be needed if all the problems that have been unearthed by the Grenfell inquiry and Dame Judith Hackitt’s review into building safety are to be addressed. Fire safety in buildings is vital – but it's not all about the cladding. Issues around insulation, fire stopping, compartmentation and balconies all need the attention of the Government too – and the cash to tackle them.
Let’s hope for more good news in the New Year.
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
Runs HQ & site lease-up teams. Drives rent pricing, mobilisation, marketing, happy residents!
Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
Chartered Building Surveyor. Lectures on EWS1 & building safety. Runs CapEx programmes.
Kate Robinson MIRPM MD Blocks/FM Management (London Region)
Master plan setup, ops and staffing and resident engagement. ISO45001 champion.
Lee Harle Partner Ringley Law
Plot conveyancing. Debt litigation. Group Company Secretary.
Anthony Kingdon MIRPM AssocRICS MD Blocks/FM Management (North Region)
Stakeholder engagement. Mixed tenure specialist. Budget management. Plant audit, PPM compliance.
Chris Georgalis MRICS Head of Commercial Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental valuations: retail, leisure. IRR modelling and valuations for secured lending. Compulsory purchase & rent reviews
Nichola Pughe MRICS Head of Residential Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental development & mixed use valuations, IRR modelling. Leasehold enfranchisement specialist
Libby Chen MSc Compliance Manager
Operational Plant & Equipment strategy PPM Compliance lead, Asset tagging Client major projects
Dipesh Parekh Director PlanetRent
Customer centric, vertically integrated PropTech/fin-tech solutions.
Leana Aristodemou MIRPM MARLA AssocRICS Strategic lead: ESG & Asset Business Plan delivery
Financial modelling, valuation analyst to support underwriting & fund reporting.
Natalie Birmingham Helpdesk Support Manager
Trainer & Helpdesk Manager: people, systems,contractors. ISO45001 supply chain accreditation.
Steve Norman Planning Director
Land due diligence (opportunities & constraints) Has contributed to a number of award winning schemes.