Developers must cover the cost of removing hazardous cladding.


The cost of removing hazardous cladding must be paid by the developers.

Housing campaigners have welcomed moves to make developers pay for the removal of hazardous cladding, but have warned that the plan falls short.

Leaseholders in low-rise buildings will no longer have to take out loans to pay for remedial work under a scheme expected to be announced this week by Housing Secretary Michael Gove.

Instead, developers are likely to face pressure to cover up to £4 billion in costs.

Mr Gove is expected to tell the Commons that if developers refuse to pay for the removal of cladding voluntarily, the Government will threaten them with legal action.

The government had set aside up to £5 billion to remove hazardous cladding from structures taller than 60.5 feet.

Grants are currently only available to leaseholders in the buildings affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people in 2017.

Leaseholders in buildings with heights ranging from 36 to 60.5 feet are responsible for removing the cladding themselves.

The apparent retreat was revealed in a leaked Treasury letter sent to Mr Gove, which stated that small-scale building loans would be replaced by a “limited grant scheme,” with the taxpayer footing the bill.

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Cladding campaigners have been pleading with the government for a long time to accept that buildings under 60.5ft should be covered and that leaseholders should not be responsible.

“From what we’re hearing, progress is being made, though it isn’t enough,” said Sir Peter Bottomley, a senior Tory MP and co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold Reform.

“We need to get the money, spend it properly, and overcome the hurdle” of indemnity funding so that landlords can file claims against developers and manufacturers, he added.

He claimed that the government should tell insurance companies to “come to the table with, say, £8 billion, and then innocent leaseholders will live in safe and saleable homes.”

“Any new measures that help resolve the building safety crisis are welcome,” Labour’s shadow housing minister Matthew Pennycook said, “but, on the face of it, these appear far less significant than they sound.”

“Nothing is said about non-cladding defects, there is no new developer levy, and the position on leaseholder liability remains unchanged.”

The new measures do not “extend to,” a spokesman for the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign said.

“Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”


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