Gove threatens ban on cladding suppliers failing to pay for retrofits

Aaron Morby 4 months ago

Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove has threatened a trade ban on suppliers of cladding and insulation that refuse to play their part in funding the billions of pounds needed for building fire safety retrofits.

Government is now demanding manufacturers make their contribution to £9bn remediation bill
Government is now demanding manufacturers make their contribution to £9bn remediation bill

Opening a second front on raising cash from the industry to meet huge remediation costs, Gove has written to the Construction Products Association saying it is not right that developers alone shoulder the burden of paying for retrofitting unsafe buildings.

He says that three manufacturers associated with the Grenfell building alone have banked total profits of £700m in the four years since the Grenfell disaster.

In a letter demanding a meeting with the major suppliers body, he says: “A new deal must include a clear commitment from the sector that they agree to make financial contributions in this year and in subsequent years as we have already asked developers to do.

“The total contribution from the cladding and insulation sector must represent a significant portion of the total remediation costs, caused by the dangerous products sold by some of your members.”

Gove highlights the cost estimate to remediate unsafe cladding on 11-18m and over 18m buildings stands at £4bn and £5.1bn respectively.

Like developers, Gove is giving suppliers until March to put together a funding plan. If they fail to act he warns he will pursue individuals and firms liable for building defects and could even institute a ban on trading.

Gove said: “There is no future for those companies and directors who are not fully committed to upholding the safety of residents and fixing past wrongs.”

In the letter, he adds: “I note that from publicly available sources profits made in the four years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy by just the UK arms of the three cladding and insulation firms most closely associated with the refurbishment of the Grenfell Tower total over £700m.

“The cladding and insulation sector has an unquestionable responsibility for contributing to the remediation of their unsafe cladding products and must now come forwards with proposals to account for this.

“I expect a public funding commitment from your sector by early March, which would be made available to the public and to affected leaseholders.

“I am sure you are as committed as I am to fixing this broken system, and I hope we can work together to do that.

“But I must be clear, I am prepared to do whatever it takes to deliver our objective including using our regulatory framework to limit any culpable company from operating and selling products in this country in the future; and I will pursue those individuals and firms liable for building defects who are unwilling to do the right thing now.”



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