Taylor Wimpey pledges £125m for cladding and fire safety retrofits

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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House builder Taylor Wimpey has set aside £125m to fund fire safety and cladding improvements to buildings.

Redfern said Taylor Wimpey had taken the decision to shoulder the cost for customer and leaseholders of ensuring buildings are safe.
Redfern said Taylor Wimpey had taken the decision to shoulder the cost for customer and leaseholders of ensuring buildings are safe.

The cash will support building owners and leaseholders and applies to Taylor Wimpey apartment buildings constructed over the last 20 years, including apartment buildings below 18m.

The latest cash is on top of the £40m provided after Grenfell to fund cladding removal. So far 12 out of 19 blocks have been reclad.

Pete Redfern, chief executive, said that Taylor Wimpey had now identified 232 apartment buildings that may require fire safety works under External Wall Fire Safety (EWS1) requirements.

He said: “This is a complex and exceptional situation, but Taylor Wimpey is focused on doing the right thing for its customers.

“The Board has determined that we will fund and oversee the improvement works of apartment buildings in our ownership, regardless of eligibility for the UK Government Building Safety Fund, to make them safe and mortgageable by achieving external fire wall standards EWS1 certification.

“If Taylor Wimpey no longer owns the building and it is not eligible for the Building Safety Fund, or similar support that may be announced in the future, where a freeholder produces a fair and proportionate plan for fire safety improvement works following EWS1 assessment, we will contribute funding to bring those buildings up to the standards.

“Whilst the legal responsibility continues to rest with the building owner, we will also provide advice and other assistance where appropriate.”

Taylor Wimpey unveiled the retrofit plan as it announced results for a very challenging 2020.

Pre-tax profit slumped by just over two-thirds to £264m from revenue down 36% to £2.79bn.

Total UK home completions including joint ventures fell 39% to 9,609 in 2020, due primarily to the impact on production capacity during the second quarter shutdown.

Average selling prices on private completions increased by 5.9% to £323k (2019: £305k), with the overall average selling price increasing to £288k (2019: £269k), driven mostly by change in mix.

Redfern said: “Operating performance has bounced back strongly in the second half of 2020, with build capacity returning to near normal levels and strong sales.”

He said Taylor Wimpey now enjoyed a record forward order book of 10,685 homes and was focused on delivering cost-saving and simplification with annual savings of £16m from 2021

Redfern said: “We are confident in the medium term performance of the housing market and therefore accelerated our land purchases from May 2020 as high-quality land became available at attractive rates.

“We are now focusing on driving efficiencies across the business, the roll out of our new house type range and implementing our ambitious new environmental strategy.”

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