News - Construction News

Plan to accelerate high-rise cladding action

A package of measures has been put together to address cladding concerns in private high-rise residential blocks.

Secretary of State for Communities, Rt. Hon James Brokenshire MP announced the action plan which will support councils as they work with owners of ‘at risk’ high-rise blocks.

Following the Grenfell Tower disaster, local authorities and private owners have been working to identify any high-rise residential buildings that are clad with potentially unsafe material. Some 6,000 buildings have been assessed in this large-scale, complex task. Of these, some 297 private sector buildings have been identified as using ACM cladding.

The action plan is intended to accelerate removal of the cladding from these private buildings; remediation work has begun on just 21, with only four completed. The government is determined to accelerate this pace of work and ensure people feel safe in the homes in which they live.

Building owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their buildings and their residents, and government and councils will continue to monitor and hold them to account where they have unsafe cladding systems. A number of enforcement actions have been enacted to compel the owners to take action.

The Action Plan will develop:

  • A new taskforce, chaired by Ministers, local government and Fire authority representatives, will oversee a national programme of remediation in the private sector and ensure plans are in place for every single building affected.
  • A new inspection team, consisting of experts from environmental health, building control and fire inspection.
  • A follow-up industry roundtable to present solutions to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings without passing on the costs to leaseholders.
  • Letters will be sent to all relevant private sector building owners to remind them of their responsibility to make their buildings safe.

Secretary of State for Communities, Rt. Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “The safety of residents is my main priority and fire and rescue services are working with building owners to ensure residents are safe now. But I want to see swifter progress in removing unsafe cladding which is why I have announced further action to support councils as they work with owners of high-rise blocks.

“I have been clear that leaseholders should be protected from unfair costs and we expect the industry to do the right thing. If they don’t, I will continue to explore other routes and I am not ruling anything out.”

If you would like to read more articles like this then please click here.