Last edited 02 Apr 2020

Government response to the Building a Safer Future consultation

Following the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017, Dame Judith Hackitt undertook an independent review of building regulations and fire safety. The government then consulted on proposals for a new building and fire safety system.

On 2 April 2020, in response to the Building a Safer Future consultation, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced steps to reform building safety systems with the ‘biggest changes in a generation’.

New measures include mandatory sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage in all new high-rise blocks of flats over 11 metres tall. The government will legislate for these reforms through the Building Safety Bill.

David Hancock has also been appointed to review progress on replacing unsafe ACM cladding. In addition, Robert Jenrick will hold a roundtable with mortgage lenders to work on an agreed approach to mortgage valuations for properties in buildings under 18 metres tall.

The measures build on earlier announcements including:

Robert Jenrick MP said: “This new regime will put residentssafety at its heart, and follows the announcement of the unprecedented £1 billion fund for removing unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings in the Budget. Today we are also announcing that the housing industry is designing a website so lenders and leaseholders can access the information needed to proceed with sales and re-mortgaging, and the government stands ready to help to ensure this work is completed at pace.'

The latest non-ACM cladding testing results were also published, showing that none of the materials, including high-pressure laminate (HPL) and timber cladding, behaved in the same way as ACM. However, the government made clear that any unsafe materials should be removed from buildings quickly. External wall systems on high-rise buildings using Class C or D HPL panels are unsafe and should be removed as they do not comply with building regulations.

The full response to the Building a Safer Future consultation can be seen at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/building-a-safer-future-proposals-for-reform-of-the-building-safety-regulatory-system

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