The November 2020 one-year Spending Review pledged an additional £30 million to the new building safety regime, established in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and as per Dame Judith Hackitt's recommendations.This new cash will take funding for 2021-2022 to at least £70 million and will include a new Building Safety Regulator to oversee a stringent regime for high-risk buildings.
The Spending Review also re-confirmed £1.6 billion of funding to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings.
It should be noted, however, that while the government has allocated funding for the Building Safety Regulator, there was no mention of funding to support the removal of materials on buildings that are not considered 'high-rise' – i.e., those less than 18 metres high, but which still have potentially unsafe cladding.
Aside from aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding of the kind used on Grenfell Tower, there are many other materials widely used to embellish new buildings that could potentially be unsafe, ranging from types of timber cladding to some high-pressure laminates or plastics on walls.
It was also not clear when funding would be made available.
Aside from the serious safety risks posed by unsafe cladding, owners of at-risk properties are desperate to resolve this matter urgently as many high-rise properties have been rendered unmortgageable and unsellable until they are certified fire-safe.
In June this year, a report by the Housing, Communities & Local Government Committee warned that the cost of remediation work could be as high as £3 billion and as things stand, private owners of the affected properties will need to make up the shortfall.
Fieldfisher has extensive experience in dealing with cladding-related matters. Our construction specialists Dan Preston, Helen Andrews and Jamie Key will be happy to answer any queries and assist with applications for funding.
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