Developers and manufacturers must pay for unsafe cladding

Michael Gove’s letter to CPA calls on manufactures of cladding and insulation to contribute to costs

Housing Minister confirms cost of remediation will not fall on leaseholders

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has threatened to impose a £4bn levy on developers in they don’t pay to fix unsafe cladding in leaseholders’ homes.

In a statement to the House of Commons last month, Michael Gove said leaseholders in flats between 11m and 18m high will no longer have to pay towards the costs of fixing cladding.

In a letter to the Construction Products Association, he also said manufacturers of cladding and insulation would be expected to contribute to the costs. The letter stated that the cost to remediate unsafe cladding on 11-18m and 18m-plus buildings would be £4bn and £5.1bn respectively. It went on to say: ‘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.

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee is scrutinising the impact of Gove’s announcement and how developers might pay. Clive Betts MP, chair of the committee, said: Gove’s announcements on 10 January were a welcome step towards finally addressing the question of meeting the costs of making residential blocks safe, rather than dumping the burden on flat-owners.’

Gove also outlined a package of building safety measures, and confirmed the government is withdrawing guidance that the Secretary of State said had been ‘wrongly interpreted’ by industry to require remediation of all cladding irrespective of building height. Building assessments will also be audited to make sure expensive remediation is only advised where ‘necessary’ to remove a threat to life, said Gove.

Dame Judith Hackitt, who chaired the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, said the government’s package would be a ‘great relief’ for many leaseholders.