Councils allowed to remove cladding from private buildings

Councils across England are to be given the right to remove cladding on high rise privately-owned buildings, in a bid to ensure that they meet new rules. 

As of December 21, the use of combustible cladding on new high rise homes, schools, care homes and student accommodation will be banned. The new regulations have been drawn up following a consultation in the wake of the Grenfell disaster and apply to all new residential buildings that are more than 18 metres in height, as well as a range of government built buildings.

A program is also in place to remove this type of cladding from existing government-owned buildings, however, private owners have been slower to comply. In a bid to speed up the process, councils are now to be given the right and the financial support to carry out work on privately owned buildings. They will then be able to recover the costs from the owners.

There are currently 457 buildings that have been identified as having the dangerous ACM cladding. 157 of these are social residential buildings and 9 are publicly owned. There are a further 291 private sector buildings which include flats, hotels and student accommodations. Just 39 buildings have so far had the cladding removed and work has started on a further 98 government-owned buildings. Just 21 privately owned buildings are undergoing cladding removal.

The government have said that everyone should feel safe in their homes and that owners and developers have the responsibility to carry out this work. The costs should not be passed back to the leaseholders.