Construction News

Sat September 25 2021

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Private landlords dragging heels to replace flammable cladding

29 Jun 18 Of the 297 private sector high-rise residential buildings currently known to have unsafe cladding, only 21 have seen remediation work begin.

It seems that many building owners still need to wake up
It seems that many building owners still need to wake up

So concerned is the government by the failure of the private sector to get its house in order, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire more than a year ago, it has set up a special taskforce to drive action.

The taskforce will oversee a national programme of remediation in the private sector and ensure plans are in place for every building with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding systems. The taskforce will be chaired by ministers and membership will include representatives from local government and the fire brigades.

A new inspection team, backed by £1m government funding, consisting of experts from environmental health, building control and fire inspection will provide support to individual councils, boosting their capacity to undertake enforcement action.

All relevant private sector building owners will also be getting a (presumably strongly worded) letter to remind them of their responsibility to make their buildings safe.

Secretary of state for communities James Brokenshire 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.”

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