Government changes on new homes

30 November 2018

Regulations laid out in government now gives legal precedent to the combustible materials ban.

This means combustible materials will not be permitted on the external walls of new buildings over 18 metres containing flats.

It will also apply to hospitals, residential care premises, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation and schools above 18 metres.

The government is already fully funding the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on social sector buildings above 18 metres.

They have also declared they will give support, including financially where necessary, to local authorities to carry out emergency work to remove and replace unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding.

The Communities Secretary is also acting to speed up the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding, like the type used on Grenfell Tower.

Secretary of state for communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

“Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes and I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders.

“My message is clear – private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner, Dan Daly said:

"While we are supportive of a ban on combustible cladding, it’s not enough to make buildings safer."

He continued, “Banning cladding won’t make buildings safer unless you ensure that only properly qualified people can make decisions about how buildings are built and maintained. For example, you could strip a building of combustible cladding but a building owner can still make other alterations that could be just as dangerous.

"Only properly qualified people should be making decisions about the materials we use and changes we make to our buildings and so Government must move quickly to implement the fundamental changes to building regulations as outlined in Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations and fire safety."

Speaking of the bigger picture, Mr Daly said, “The London Fire Brigade has also been calling for residential tower blocks to be retrofitted with sprinklers and for sprinklers to be mandatory in all new school builds and major refurbishments.

"Sprinklers are the only fire safety system that detects a fire, suppresses a fire and raises the alarm. They save lives and protect property and they are especially important where there are vulnerable residents who would find it difficult to escape, like those with mobility problems”

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