A ban on combustible materials on all new high-rise buildings will come into force on 21 December after legislation was laid down in Parliament today, while councils are to be given full support to carry out emergency work to remove cladding from any buildings.
The ban was announced over the summer, restricting the use of combustible materials on the external walls of new buildings over 18 metres in height.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government also announced plans to accelerate remediation work on existing unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings.
A statement said: “Local authorities will get the government’s full backing, including financial support if necessary, to enable them to carry out emergency work on affected private residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding. They will recover the costs from building owners. This will allow buildings to be made permanently safe without delay.”
Housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire confirmed the cost for this work should be paid for by private building owners and “must not be passed on to leaseholders”.
Mr Brokenshire said: “My message is clear – private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”
Housing minister Kit Malthouse told Parliament last month that the government was aware of unsafe cladding on 157 buildings, four of which had no plans to immediately remove it.
Responding, Local Government Association chair Lord Porter (Con) said Mr Brokenshire’s decision was “great” and added it would “provide clarity for building owners”.
“Local authorities acted swiftly following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower to implement precautionary measures where necessary and remove flammable materials on their high-rise blocks,” he said.
“Councils also worked hard to try and confirm with building owners whether they have dangerous cladding on their high-rise residential buildings. Some private landlords have shown a lack of urgency to identify which buildings have cladding and insulation systems that have failed fire safety tests and take steps to make them safe.
“The measures announced today will therefore help councils take the steps necessary to ensure all residents in their local area are safe and feel safe in their homes, regardless of whether they own the block or not, and to ensure that a tragedy like that at Grenfell never happens again.”
Have authorised the ban on combustible materials on new high-rise homes. Regulations were laid in Parliament earlier today. We are also giving support to local councils to carry out emergency work to remove and replace unsafe ACM cladding. https://t.co/6JPMljqhTe— James Brokenshire (@JBrokenshire) November 29, 2018