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Government threatens developers over cladding payments

The government is threatening to deny planning consent to developers who refuse to pay towards the removal of unsafe cladding on blocks. 

The proposed measures are in the Building Safety Bill to go through Parliament in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

New powers would also allow cladding companies to be sued and subject to fines for defective products.


According to Housing Secretary Michael Gove “it’s time to bring this scandal to an end”.

He says: "We cannot allow those who do not take building safety seriously to build homes in the future, and for those not willing to play their part they must face consequences.”

Gove has already announced that no leaseholder living in a building higher than 11m "will ever face any costs" for fixing dangerous cladding.

Under the proposed laws, leaseholders would have up to 30 years to sue builders and product manufacturers for defects in England, but there are plans to extend it UK wide. 

The current statute of limitations is six years. 

The courts would also be able to stop developers using what the government calls "shadowy shell companies … which make them difficult to trace or identify who they are run by, so they can avoid taking responsibility for their actions".


Gove’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities says the cap on leaseholders’ contributions would be £15,000 in London and £10,000 in the rest of the UK.

Any money paid by leaseholders so far would count towards their capped payment.

The DLUHC has also confirmed that developers who own buildings over 11m will still be required to pay the full costs of remedial works, while landlords linked to a developer and building owners, who are not linked to the developer but can afford to pay in full, will also be required to put up the money.

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    One bit of good news for developers is that the net has been widened to include manufacturers of the products.
    Some leading players have sought advice from Queens Counsel to push back against some of the proposals. But in the light of consistent complaints about poor workmanship in newbuilds and of course the Grenfell Fire tragedy itself there will be little sympathy from the public.


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