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The Government Announces Action Plan to Deal with Tower Block Cladding

on Thursday, 02 August 2018.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced a number of measures aimed at tackling unsafe cladding in tower blocks following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower.

A team of designated officials have identified 297 private sector high rise residential buildings which have unsafe cladding, with remediation work already underway on 21 of these buildings. Local fire services have been informed of the buildings which pose the greatest risk, so that they can put appropriate measures in place to ensure and monitor resident safety.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has recommended that there are extensive changes to building regulations. One of the issues that has been highlighted includes how builders are able to appoint their own inspectors and manufacturers often choosing the most lenient testing bodies for products. The Report produced by the Committee has also recommended that the new safety measures are not limited to high rise buildings, but should also apply to residential homes, hospitals, hotels and student accommodation.

Building owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their buildings and local Government and local authorities have stated that they will continue to hold building owners to account, with a number of local authorities starting enforcement action.

A team consisting of environmental health experts, building and fire control inspectors will also be making proposals as to how unsafe cladding can be removed without passing on significant costs to leaseholders. It has been suggested that the Government introduce a low interest loan for private sector business owners, in order to assist with this.

If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of property development, please contact Steven McGuigan in our Commercial Property team on 0117 314 5442.

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