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06 October 2020
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says it is “imperative” that the new deadline, for works on the remaining high-rise blocks to be completed by the end of 2021, be met. As currently 'only a third (155 out of 455) of high-rise buildings with Grenfell-style flammable cladding due to be fixed by now have had their cladding replaced with a safe alternative.'
There is also great concern over a host of other serious shortcomings exposed by the Grenfell disaster that also need to be addressed.
In spite of the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government announcing a further £1 billion to fund the replacement of a variety of dangerous cladding, the Ministry accepts that the British system of building safety regulation has been “not fit for purpose” for many years – and these failings have left a legacy of problems for the Department to address which extend far beyond the immediate need to remove dangerous cladding.
A lack of skills, capacity, and access to insurance is hampering efforts to improve or simply assure the structural safety of apartment blocks. This knocks on to any ability to restore the confidence of buyers and mortgage lenders in sales of flats across the country. Leaseholders are in limbo and facing huge bills because of a system-wide failure.'
It remains to be seen at a time of multiple national crises whether the Government will be able to meet the deadlines set to replace dangerous cladding.