Low-rise buildings with dangerous cladding (1)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Dismore Andrew Dismore Labour

What dangers do you believe that buildings under 18m with dangerous cladding pose to residents?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Several recent damaging fires in buildings below 18 metres have demonstrated the danger that unsafe cladding presents to residents. I have always been clear that fire risk does not adhere to strict height thresholds.

While I welcomed the Government’s decision to review the ban on the use of combustible materials within external wall systems, with a view to lower the threshold to 11m in height, I have long called for this ban to apply to all new buildings, irrespective of height or use. The consultation on this review closed on 25 May 2020 and we are still awaiting the Government’s response.

I have already implemented tougher fire safety requirements in the London Development Panel 2 (LDP2). As such, all new contracts for housing development on publicly owned land, commissioned via LDP2, require sprinklers in blocks of flats and higher-risk buildings, and extends the combustible cladding ban to residential buildings of any height.