Government to Amend Approved Documents to Ban Unsafe Cladding and Force Building Owners to Pay

The government is banning combustible materials on new high-rise homes and giving support to local authorities to carry out emergency remediation work.

The process was started in Parliament on 29 November 2018 to make law the combustible materials ban announced in the summer.

Approved Document B will be changed to ban combustible materials on the external walls of new buildings over 18 metres containing flats, as well as new hospitals, residential care premises, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation over 18 metres.

The government also said local authorities will get taxpayer money to carry out emergency work on affected private residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding. They will recover the costs from building owners. Work on social housing buildings above 18 metres is already funded.

James Brokenshire said, “I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders. Private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.

LABC Chief Executive, Paul Everall, commented, “Owners of private residential blocks needing remediation work now have the clarity they need on the use of non-combustible systems and products to get on with the job.  Our colleagues in local authority housing teams will have additional powers and resources to deal with those private building owners who aren’t moving fast enough on necessary remediation work.”

Alongside the consultation and review of Approved Document B, the government has also announced additional measures to strengthen fire safety:

  • Establishing a panel, made up of residents, to ensure proposed safety improvements are grounded in the experience of those who live in high-rise buildings.
  • Dame Judith Hackitt will chair a soon-to-be established Industry Safety Steering Group to drive the culture change.
  • Working with a small group of organisations from industry to pilot safety improvements in line with Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations.
  • Introducing a mandatory requirement on landlords in the private rented sector to ensure electrical installations in their property are inspected every 5 years.


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