Eleven property developers could be barred from the industry unless they sign a UK government contract to repair unsafe cladding on apartment blocks, according to Michael Gove, the secretary of state for housing.
While 39 firms signed the commitment by Monday’s deadline, others including Abbey Developments, Ballymore and Galliard Homes have not, Gove said in parliament. Rydon Homes, one of the companies linked to the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower, and Aim-listed Inland Homes Plc were also among those that have not signed.
The government has said it will bring forward legislation to ban companies from the housing market unless they agree to shoulder the cost of repairs for serious safety faults. Details of the proposed Responsible Actors Scheme will be published next week, Gove said, and companies will not be able to commence new developments in England or receive building control approval for work already under way unless they are approved.
Developers have now committed to fixing 1,100 buildings, Gove told parliament. “They are making significant financial commitments and I am grateful to them,” he said. Officials remain in discussions with several companies “who are making progress towards signing,” he added.
The Grenfell tower fire, which claimed the lives of 72 people in 2017, exposed a raft of building safety failures affecting hundreds of apartment blocks around the UK. That sparked questions about who should pay to fix the issues, leaving thousands of homeowners unable to sell and trapped in unsafe properties.
Gove has pushed builders to take responsibility for improvements and has also introduced a Building Safety Levy on the sector, creating estimated costs of £5 billion for firms.
The government said the following companies hadn’t committed to its remediation contract:
- Abbey Developments
- Emerson Group (Jones Homes)
- Galliard Homes
- Inland Homes
- London Square
- Rydon Homes
- Telford Homes
Photograph: Michael Gove, UK secretary of state for housing, on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Photo credit: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg
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