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Government unveils £1bn cladding replacement fund

27 May 2020
Government unveils £1bn cladding replacement fund

The government has revealed details of its new £1bn building safety fund to remove dangerous cladding from high-rise buildings.

The fund will meet the cost for removing unsafe non-ACM cladding on residential buildings that are 18m and over.

Publishing a new prospectus for the fund, the government said it was mainly targeted at supporting leaseholders in the private sector facing significant bills.

However, for leaseholders living in buildings owned by providers in the social sector, the it will also provide funding to meet the provider’s costs which would otherwise have been borne by leaseholders.

The fund adds to the £600m already set aside for the replacement of ACM cladding systems.

Applications to the scheme can be progressed alongside the development of the remediation project.

Details were unveiled as the government published an amendment to Approved Document B to ensure that sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11m tall.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I will not accept any excuses from building owners who have yet to take action and those responsible should register for the fund so that they can start the remediation process immediately. I have also reached an agreement with local leaders so that this important work can continue safely during the pandemic.”

Building safety minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “Now that this additional £1bn funding is in place, building owners must crack on with removing flammable cladding on all high-rise residential buildings that are over 18 metres.

“The government will work with the Mayor of London and our metro mayors as well as local councils to ensure that these vital building safety works are finally carried out, so that people are safe in their homes.

“Our Fire Safety Bill, which was introduced to parliament last month, will empower fire and rescue services to take enforcement action and hold building owners to account if they do not comply with law.”

As of the end of March this year, remediation work on more than two-thirds of high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings with dangerous ACM cladding systems was incomplete. Work on 144 buildings had finished, while 313 were still to be remediated.

The government has also faced calls to extend its new fire safety measures, with contractor Beard calling for mandatory sprinklers in all high-rise buildings, rather than only those residential blocks over 11m.

Comments

Why are the taxpayer paying for work which is clearly the ‘Building Owners’ responsibility. It should only be a repayable loan to remove the safety hazard which should have been carried out by the ‘Owners’ already.

RoyA, 28 May 2020