Government formalises ban on combustible materials in high-rise buildings

James Brokenshire

The government has this week formally banned the use of combustible materials on new high-rise homes, and given support to local authorities to carry out emergency work to remove and replace unsafe aluminium composite material cladding.

But it has also made clear that the cost of any financial support will eventually be recovered from building owners.

The ban means combustible materials will not be permitted on the external walls of new buildings over 18 metres tall, including flats, new hospitals, residential care premises, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation.

Schools over 18 metres tall built as part of the government’s centrally-delivered build programmes will also not use combustible materials, in line with the terms of the ban, in the external wall.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire is also taking action to speed up the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding, like the type used on Grenfell Tower.

He says local authorities will get the government’s full backing, including financial support if necessary, to enable them to carry out emergency work on affected private residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding. The costs will be recovered from building owners. This will allow buildings to be made permanently safe without delay.

Mr Brokenshire MP said: “Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes, and I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACMcladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders.

“My message is clear – private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”