Leaseholders living in the Citiscape development in Croydon had feared that they might have to foot a £2m bill to have the building re-clad in fire-safe panels.
But they were told at a residents’ association meeting last night that Barratt Developments had decided to cover future and backdated costs relating to employing a fire warden and the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding from this building.
The building was one of more than 130 private apartment blocks across the country that have been found to have been clad with the same system used on Grenfell Tower. After 71 residents were killed in fire in June 2017 it emerged that the cladding system consisting of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding with a polyethylene filler accelerated the spread of fire instead of retarding it.
Housing secretary Sajid Javid has been pressing building owners in the private sector to follow the lead of the social housing sector and not pass on the costs of essential cladding replacement to leaseholders.
Barratt has agreed to cover the costs even though it is not the current freeholder or managing agent.
Sajid Javid said: “I applaud Barratt Developments’ decision to cover the costs of fire safety works. They have listened to the concerns of Citiscape residents, engaged with government and have done the right thing.
“Other building owners and house builders in the private sector should follow the example set by Barratt Developments to protect leaseholders from costs and begin essential fire safety works. I want to see all leaseholders in this position get the peace of mind they deserve and I am keeping this under review.”