Michael Gove meets developers to discuss funding for cladding work
The Communities Secretary met industry leaders to discuss how to pay for works to rectify cladding and building safety issues.
Communities Secretary Michael Gove has met developers to discuss how to pay for works to rectify cladding and building safety issues.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said Mr Gove spoke to senior executives from some of the UK’s biggest developers about how to pay for work to fix safety issues, including dangerous cladding on buildings.
It comes after ministers pledged to amend legislation to better protect thousands of leaseholders from being hit with hefty bills for safety work.
In a statement after the meeting, Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation (HBF), said the industry body has urged the Government to “provide clear leadership”.
He added: “We firmly believe that any further solutions must be proportionate, take into account the significant commitments made by industry so far and involve other companies, sectors and organisations who are outside the scope of the Residential Property Developers Tax.”
Mr Baseley said the HBF is keen for talks to be broadened to include other bodies such as freeholders and the firms that designed, tested and sold materials that developers bought in good faith.
“We are also urging (the) Government (to) provide clear leadership, to define guidance and work with lenders, insurers, surveyors and the construction industry to understand what remediation work must be undertaken to resolve issues for residents quickly and simply.”
A DLUHC spokesperson said: “The Secretary of State set out the Government’s expectations for industry to cover the costs of fixing unsafe buildings and he reiterated that nothing was off the table.
“Today’s roundtable was attended by senior executives from the country’s biggest developers, and these representatives agreed leaseholders should not pay.
“We continue to engage with them to ensure they deliver a fully funded action plan by early March.”
“However, as always, we need to see this actually lead to firm action on the ground to make buildings safe quickly,” he added in a statement.
“We remain concerned that the development community will only do the right thing if they are forced to do so.”
The Building Safety Bill, which is due to undergo further scrutiny in the Lords before potentially becoming law, would give a new regulator the power to prosecute rule-breaking developers and take their properties off the market.
It forms part of the Government’s plans to avert a repeat of the Grenfell Tower blaze in London, which killed 72 people in 2017.
A developers’ tax could be introduced to hit those responsible for dangerous cladding if firms do not voluntarily fix safety defects.