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Red tape preventing cladding removals could cause another Grenfell tragedy


Tuesday 15 November 2022

In a letter to the Parliamentary Under Secretary for State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) and Kensington MP, Felicity Buchan, LCCI called for regulatory certainty around the removal of cladding from tower blocks to be established by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Currently, dangerous cladding – including that of the same material which caused the Grenfell fire – is being kept in place by regulatory uncertainty, leaving companies unsure as to what to do.

Despite the Government bringing in the Building Safety Act 2022 so that this cladding is removed, the lack of action by the HSE has had a knock on impact in terms of delays with the removal of dangerous cladding. In a statement issued to the London Chamber, the HSE was unable to state what guidance it could issue to enable developers and contractors to get the go ahead to remove the cladding.

On behalf of London businesses, the Chamber thanked Ms Buchan in her constituency role who, as the MP for Kensington, supported the community who were directly affected by the trauma of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Now that Ms Buchan is now a Minister in the Government department directly responsible for avoiding a repeat of this tragedy, the London Chamber called on the Minister to end the uncertainty so that cladding is removed as a matter of urgency.

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said: “The tragedy of Grenfell Tower laid bare what occurs when policy does not meet practicality. The Health and Safety Executive must urgently clarify its policy and allow businesses to remove dangerous cladding from high rise buildings. Businesses are waiting for the green light and stand ready with the tools and expertise to help residents in these tower blocks. Thousands of people across London and the nation are living in uncertainty, waiting for this cladding to be removed from their homes. Businesses are ready to play their part – but until this regulatory uncertainty ends, the risk of another tragedy continues”.

Red tape preventing cladding removals could cause another Grenfell tragedy

Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief (LCCI), Richard Burge, decries unclear red tape which is making it difficult for businesses to remove cladding from high-rise buildings