Local Government: Barnet

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 23 May 2024.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will meet with the hon. Member for Hendon to discuss what steps his Department is taking following the meeting with Barnet Council on 3 May 2024.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has taken steps to ensure that before selling homes under the Right to Buy scheme between 1980 and 2022, local authorities (a) assessed those buildings for (i) cladding and (ii) building safety defects and (b) informed prospective buyers of (A) non-standard construction in and (B) the life expectancy of such homes; and if he will provide guidance to local authorities on ensuring that (1) such assessments are made for before homes are sold under the Right to Buy scheme and (2) prospective buyers are informed of (x) non-standard construction in and (y) the life expectancy of such homes.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of restrictions in conservation areas on the safety of (a) residential cladding materials and (b) fire safety remediation and mitigation measures.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an estimate of the number of terraced timber-frame homes that have (a) timber cladding and (b) UPVC cladding that may be affected by fire safety issues.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

Local authorities are responsible for conservation areas. The Manual to the Building Regulations notes that where the functional requirement of Part B Fire Safety applies to buildings of special architectural or historic interest, local authority building control and conservation officers may be able to advise on how to comply appropriately, if guidance intended for common building situations might prove too restrictive.

We are aware of the action being taken by Barnet Council and continue to engage closely with them on the steps they are taking, following the Moss Hall Grove fire in June 2023.

I would be delighted to meet my Hon Friend and I know we are trying to do so, alongside our Rt Hon Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet, as soon as diaries permit.

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