2,000 buildings need recladding three years after Grenfell

Aaron Morby 1 year ago
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Three years after the Grenfell Tower fire disaster there are still an estimated 2,000 high-risk residential buildings with some form of dangerous cladding.

Only a third of high-rise buildings fitted with dangerous ACM have been retrofitted
Only a third of high-rise buildings fitted with dangerous ACM have been retrofitted

Only 149 of the 457 high-rise residential or other publicly owned buildings identified with ACM cladding have been remediated so far.

Furthermore, the Government now estimates a further 1,700 buildings are fitted with unsafe non-ACM cladding – like high pressure laminate panels – posing a risk to tenants and building users.

A report from watchdog MPs on the Housing, Communities and Local Government committee has warned that Government’s funding will fall far short of what is needed to carry out remedial work on all buildings with dangerous cladding and other fire safety issues.

Its £1bn Building Safety Fund to remove combustible non-ACM cladding from buildings above 18m is likely to only be sufficient to cover the cost of removal from a third of the 1,700 buildings needing remediation.

The MPs’ report also calls on the Government to make an absolute commitment to ensure that all buildings of any height with ACM cladding should be fully remediated of all fire safety defects by December 2021.

Buildings with other forms of dangerous cladding should have all fire safety defects removed by June 2022.

Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Clive Betts, said: “We have challenged the Government to finally commit to removing all forms of dangerous cladding once and for all.

“Three years on from the Grenfell Tower disaster there are still thousands of home owners living in buildings with some form of dangerous cladding.  This is not good enough.

“It is clear that the £1bn Building Safety Fund will not be enough.

“The Fund should be increased so that it is enough to cover the amount of work that is actually needed, both to remove cladding a resolve wider fire safety concerns.”

He added: “This should not just be a question of the Government, and therefore the taxpayer, stepping in with a blank cheque.

“We call on the Government to consider taking legal action to recover the cost of works on individual buildings.

“Compulsory Purchase Order powers should be used to take direct ownership of buildings where owners have failed to begin remedial work by December 2020.

“It is time for the Government to commit to end the scourge of dangerous cladding once and for all. A piecemeal approach that will see homeowners facing many more years of stress and financial hardship. This is not an option.”

 

 

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