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Builders’ cladding offers ‘falling short’ ‒ Gove

  • 08/03/2022
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Builders’ cladding offers ‘falling short’ ‒ Gove
The proposed funding solution for tackling unsafe cladding from builders does not go far enough, according to Michael Gove, secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

In a new letter to the Home Builders Federation (HBF), Gove warned that unless an agreement is reached soon, the government will be forced to turn to legal avenues in order to get builders to pay what he believes is fair.

Gove welcomed commitments from developers to fund the remediation of fire safety defects in buildings above 11 metres in height which they had a role in developing, without drawing on the Building Safety Fund. However, he cautioned that the current proposal “falls short of full and unconditional self-remediation that I and leaseholders will expect us to agree”. 

Gove said he expects all developers to “emulate the most responsible firms and commit to full self-remediation of unsafe buildings without added conditions or qualifications”. 

In his letter, the secretary of state added that he was “disappointed” that builders had not proposed a funding solution to cover the full outstanding cost to put right unsafe cladding on building between 11 metres and 18 metres in height, and called on them to work with his department in order to agree a fully funded plan by the end of March.

He added: “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.”

The warning follows plans from the government to essentially block builders who fail to pay for the cladding remediation from gaining planning permission for future projects.

The HBF has previously argued it would be unfair for UK housebuilders to foot the bill for sorting the cladding situation, when they argue many of the offending blocks were built by overseas developers, while they have also questioned the likely cost of those repairs put forward by the government.

The secretary of state last month revealed that landlords ‘with a string of properties’ would not be eligible to claim cladding remediation from the Building Safety Bill.

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