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Cladding removal fund extended as £30m pledged for fire alarm systems

  • 17/12/2020
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Cladding removal fund extended as £30m pledged for fire alarm systems
The government has extended the deadline for applications to its Building Safety Fund which removes or repairs certain types of unsafe cladding on high rise buildings by six months.


However, the latest data shows fewer than one in five of the 2,820 registrations received by the end of September had been assessed with barely one in ten registrations progressing to an application for funding.

Just 294 buildings are in line for support at present with 261 being deemed ineligible.

Of the remaining registrations submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), only 519 provided all the information required and are having their eligibility checked.

A further 402 gave some, but not all evidence needed to allow verification and as a result not all of these will be accepted.

More than 1,100 applications provided no basic information to assess whether their eligibility while a further 241 withdrew the application.


Open until June

The government launched the £1bn fund in March in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster three years ago.

It aims to support the remediation of unsafe non-aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding on residential buildings over 18 metres high in the private and social housing sectors.

Progress has been slow however, and MHCLG has now confirmed the deadline for applications, which was due to close on 31 December, will remain open until 31 June.

A statement from MHCLG said: “This means hundreds more buildings will be remediated and thousands of leasehold residents will be protected from costs.

“Progress is being made on current applications with many more expected to be agreed before Christmas.”


£30m for waking watch alternatives

MHCLG has also setup a £30m fund to help end the need for buildings with dangerous ACM and non-ACM cladding to maintain waking watch wardens to look out for fires.

These measures have proved highly expensive in many circumstances with leaseholders often stuck having to bear the costs.

“The Waking Watch Relief Fund will pay for the installation of fire alarm systems in high-rise buildings with cladding, removing or reducing the need for costly interim safety measures,” MHCLG said.

“The National Fire Chiefs Council have been clear in recent guidance that building owners should move to install common fire alarm systems as quickly as possible to reduce or remove dependence on waking watches.

“The steps today will help worried leaseholders who may have faced high costs for interim safety measures by providing financial support and delivering a better, long term fire safety system in their buildings,” it added.

The department also said it believes around 95 per cent of remediation work on ACM cladding, which was the type involved at Grenfell Tower, will have been completed or be underway by the end of this year.


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