Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 24th November 2022.
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made an estimate of public funding required to carry out cladding remediation of unsafe buildings.
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to ensure developers and product manufacturers responsible for defective buildings are required to take financial responsibility for those buildings.
Under the Building Safety Act 2022, those responsible for creating historical safety defects will bear the burden of costs for remediation and will be held accountable. Building owners and landlords who are, or are connected to, the developer must fix historical safety defects in their buildings above 11 metres or five storeys.
The Act also gives developers, landlords and leaseholders new legal remedies against construction product manufacturers whose products fail to comply with regulations, which results in a construction product being installed in a building and the product causing or contributing to a dwelling being rendered 'unfit for habitation'.
The Act also gives the Secretary of State the power to establish a statutory scheme to distinguish between industry actors that have committed to take responsibility where historic defects are identified, and remediation is needed and those that fail to do so. In addition, the Act gives the Secretary of State powers to prevent those that have failed to take responsibility from carrying out development for which planning permission has been granted, and to prevent them from receiving building control approval on their developments.
As the final backstop of the leaseholder protections, section 133 of the Act (once in force) will create a duty that landlords take reasonable steps to explore alternative cost recovery avenues before asking leaseholders to contribute to remediation works - including pursuing third parties responsible for defective buildings.
To protect residents in high-rise residential buildings who are facing the most serious safety risks, £5.1 billion has been committed by Government to fund cladding remediation where developers, industry or building owners are not doing so. The Building Safety Levy will be charged on new residential developments and raise an additional estimated £3 billion to remediate buildings over 11 metres tall, where no responsible developer has been identified.
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