The Government has provided an update on its response to the Grenfell Tower fire and announced its plans to introduce new regulations to ban the use of combustible cladding on a number of different building types.
In a written statement to the House of Commons (which can be viewed here) the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire said:
“As well as the work set out above that the Government has done with its partners in respect of the recovery, we are determined to learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire and bring about a fundamental change to ensure that residents of high-rise buildings are safe and feel safe. That is why we have set in train a programme of work to deliver that change by addressing the issues raised by Dame Judith Hackitt in her Independent review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.
“We recognised the strength of feeling on combustible cladding and having consulted, announced a clear ban on the use of combustible materials on the external walls of new buildings over 18m containing flats, as well as new hospitals, residential care premises, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation over 18m. Today regulations have been laid to give legal effect to the ban. As part of wider work on fire safety across government, I will work with the Education Secretary to join up our reviews of fire safety guidance. I also welcome the Department for Education’s commitment to ensuring schools over 18m built as part of their centrally delivered build programmes will not use combustible materials, in line with the terms of the ban, in the external wall.”
Responding to the announcement ACAI Chairman, Paul Wilkins said
“Today’s Grenfell update from the Secretary of State James Brokenshire is clear evidence that the Government recognises the need to go further than the Hackitt review.
“This is the start of a “Hackitt Plus” approach, meaning we should build on the review and not be limited by it.
“The announcement on cladding addresses criticisms made of the Hackitt review which failed to recommend banning combustible cladding on tall buildings. The ACAI is reviewing the materials published alongside the announcement.
“The review also recommends making local authorities solely responsible for the safety and inspection of high-risk residential buildings despite a clear lack of competence and capacity within many local authority building control teams.
“The ACAI is calling on Government to continue to go beyond the Hackitt review and implement genuine independent oversight of both Approved Inspectors and local authority building control teams”
Documents published alongside the statement can be viewed below: