Government must fund removal of Grenfell-style cladding from all buildings

Housing bodies are demanding the Government extends its financial package for removing Grenfell-style aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, so it applies to all buildings regardless of their height.

It follows the publication of new safety advice warning that Category 3 ACM with an unmodified polyethylene filler “presents a significant fire hazard” on buildings of any height and that action to remove it should be taken as soon as possible.

Previous advice said that cladding only needed to be replaced on high-rise buildings, over 18m in height. Ministers also published a consultation exercise on extending the ban on combustible materials in the external walls of new buildings from 18m to 11m. It is also expected to cut the height at which water sprinklers are required in new residential buildings from 30m, down to 11m.

In welcoming the proposals, Lord Gary Porter, spokesman for building safety at the Local Government Association, said councils will be looking to central government to pick up the bill for any extra work now required. His comments were echoed and supported by spokesmen at other housing bodies.

Darren Rodwell, executive member for housing and planning at London Councils, said a move to fund the remediation of buildings under 18m would be “equitable and consistent” with its approach for ACM buildings over 18m.

Victoria Moffett, head of building and fire safety programmes at the National Housing Federation, welcomed the decision to remove Category 3 ACM from all buildings, but said the same principle around funding needed to apply to those under 18m.

By Patrick Mooney, Editor