Gove “disappointed” by developers’ cladding proposal


Michael Gove, secretary of state for levelling up, housing & communities

The secretary of state for levelling up, housing & communities has given developers until the end of this month (March) to agree a fully funded plan to fix unsafe buildings.

Michael Gove told house-builders in January that those who put up dangerous cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings will be made to pay for remediation, not leaseholders. He invited the Home Builders Federation (HBF), as the representative org of the housing developers,  to work out the details. HBF came up with a plan in February, to which the housing secretary has now responded.

The full correspondence can be found at https://www.hbf.co.uk/policy/building-safety-discussions-with-government-on-remediation.

In his response to developer’s proposals for funding remediation work, Mr Gove writes: “I welcome the commitment that developers will fund the remediation of fire safety defects in buildings they had a role in developing above 11 metres, without drawing on the Building Safety Fund, and will make refunds to in respect of buildings for which awards have already been made. Your current proposal, however, falls short of full and unconditional self-remediation that I and leaseholders will expect us to agree.

“I expect all developers to emulate the most responsible firms and commit to full self-remediation of unsafe buildings without added conditions or qualifications. I would therefore ask you to continue working with my officials to develop these proposals further. I share your desire to ensure proportionality is instilled throughout the sector, which is why I have withdrawn the Consolidated Advice Note and supported the development of PAS 9980. The government will continue to work with lenders, insurers, RICS and others to ensure proportionality is embedded across the system.

“I am disappointed to see you have not proposed a funding solution to cover the full outstanding cost to remediate unsafe cladding on buildings 11-18 metres. I will therefore ask you to continue to work intensively with my officials in the coming weeks to agree a fully funded plan to fix unsafe buildings by the end of March. As part of this process, I expect developers to make public commitments. If an agreement is not reached by the end of March, I have been clear that government will impose a solution in law and have taken powers to impose this solution through the Building Safety Bill.”

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