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Unsafe Cladding: New Powers Proposed

Removing cladding from building costs millions of pounds per block, and leaseholders bore these large bills under the leasehold system in England and Wales.

Under the new proposed government plans, flat owners or leaseholders will no longer have to pay to remove dangerous cladding from lower-height buildings. However, developers and manufacturers will cover the cost of eliminating unsafe cladding.

The Government will try to secure up to £4 Billion from developers towards these costs whilst leaseholders in buildings from 11 to 18.5m are freed from these bills.

Government Actions on Cladding:

According to BBC, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said, "it was time to bring this scandal to an end. We cannot allow those who do not take building safety seriously to build homes in the future, and for those not willing to play their part, they must face the consequences."

In addition to this, he also said, "that no leaseholder living in a building higher than 11m - around four to six storeys high - "will ever face any costs" for fixing dangerous cladding."

Four years after the Grenfell fire, which killed 72 people in 2017, hundreds of thousands of people still live in blocks around the UK that have not had works carried out.

New measures by the Government against firms that fail to pay for removing the cladding includes:

· Planning permission blocked and building control sign-off to prevent firms from building and selling new homes

· Charging a higher rate of the new building safety levy

· Using cost contribution orders to ensure manufacturers prosecuted for selling unsafe cladding pay their fair share

Additionally, developers are expected to pay their fair share to fix dangerous buildings or face legal or tax charges.

There is undoubtedly a mixed response, with some residents welcoming, others stating it doesn’t go far enough. Many in the construction industry are receiving, yet there is a strong feeling amongst some questioning whether the government is unfair or not considering the sign-offs. Many of these concerns come from those who believe they built their buildings in good faith (and without the hindsight we now have).

Has the government gone far enough in considering these buildings, which were signed off by building control where the build process had been done in line with standards of that time or is this the right direction, and we need to accept that as an industry? No doubt, this will be a well-debated topic moving forward.

Join us on one of our upcoming events where we will be discussing the topics raised in our 'Create, Deliver & Maintain the External Envelope Vision' book that was launched in November 2021.

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