Consultation on 'desktop' fire assessments launched
Working groups to monitor high-rise living
19 June 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Housing secretary James Brokenshire has announced that there will be a consultation on banning the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings.
In a statement to Parliament, Brokenshire said he would move to make it illegal to use flammable materials on high-rises such as those used on Grenfell Tower in West London.
He told MPs the cladding believed to have been used on Grenfell Tower was "unlawful under existing building regulations and should not have been used" and that the government "wants to ensure that there is no doubt about which materials can be used on high-rise residential buildings".
This consultation will invite views on government proposals to revise the building regulations to ban the use of combustible materials in the inner leaf, insulation and cladding that are used in external wall systems on these buildings.
Residents, industry and other interested parties will now be able to have their say on proposals affecting the safety of homes. The government is legally required to consult on substantive changes to the buildings regulations before any change in the law and this consultation will end on 14 August 2018.
Brokenshire said: "The Grenfell Tower fire was an appalling tragedy and we must do everything we can to ensure a disaster like this never happens again.
"I have listened carefully to concerns and I intend to ban the use of combustible materials on the external walls of high-rise residential buildings, subject to consultation.
"The cladding believed to have been used on Grenfell Tower was unlawful under existing building regulations. It should not have been used. But I believe that the changes on which we are consulting will offer even greater certainty to concerned residents and to the construction industry."
Following her comprehensive review of fire safety and building regulations, Dame Judith Hackitt recommended that a simpler but more robust approach to the construction and ongoing management of high-rise residential buildings was needed.