The Government and housebuilders have been in talks since the beginning of 2022, with housing secretary Michael Gove urging developers to release more funds for any fire remediation works for mid-rise buildings between 11 and 18 metres in height.
The deal could resolve a large aspect of the building safety issues, brought starkly into light by the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire which sadly claimed the lives of 72 people.
Developers that have signed up to the deal include Berkeley, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon Homes, Crest Nicholson and more.
committing significant funding and resources to address fire safety and cladding issues
The government housing department has estimated that the cost of these remediation works across the UK could amount to over £4 billion. The government has asked developers to provide these funds, in addition to another levy imposed on the sector that focuses on buildings over 18 metres in height.
Centrick Building & Estate Management has already been working with the Building Safety Fund over the last year to apply for and gain funding for remediation works at affected buildings under our management. Our own in-house team have proactively and successfully worked with several RMCs and professional freeholders to undertake several cladding and facade projects, across the UK.
Centrick Managing Director, Phil Johns said, “We welcome the fact that more and more developers are signing up to the government scheme. We have been working tirelessly with residents, developers, RMCs and professional freeholders over the previous years to ensure that any blocks under our management achieve the required funding and the works required are effected as soon as possible.”
“Housebuilders signing up to this deal will ensure that the thousands of people affected will see their homes become safe again in the coming years, restoring confidence in the market and people’s minds.”
Taylor Wimpey has estimated that its latest commitment to fire and building safety will cost it a further £80m, which it says will bring the total amount it has provided for fire safety remediation works to about £245m.
Chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, Pete Redfern, said: “Our priority has been to ensure that customers in Taylor Wimpey buildings have a solution to cladding remediation.”
“We took early and proactive action, committing significant funding and resources to address fire safety and cladding issues on all Taylor Wimpey affected apartment buildings.”
Persimmon Homes previously stated it would be able to remediate every block with fire safety issues that it had built in the past 30 years without increasing its already announced provision of £75mn. Berkeley has not disclosed the figures it has calculated internally would be required to fund their remedial work.
Dean Finch, group chief executive at Persimmon, said: “Over a year ago we said that leaseholders in multi-storey buildings Persimmon constructed should not have to pay for the remediation of cladding and fire related issues. We are pleased to reaffirm this commitment today and sign the Government’s Developer Pledge.”
“We made this commitment last year as we believed it was not only fair for leaseholders but also the right thing to do as one of the country’s leading homebuilders. We are pleased that we were able to work constructively with the government to secure this agreement.”
Developers that do not sign up to the pledge will be locked out of government housing funds and the planning process, severely limiting their ability to operate.
Since replacing Robert Jenrick in the role of Housing Minister in September 2021, Gove has increasingly applied pressure to developers and housebuilders to provide the funding to resolve the crisis that has left tens of thousands of homeowners trapped in unsafe properties that are essentially unsellable and unmortgageable.
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