Despite the widespread knowledge that combustible external cladding played a significant role in the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, it has been revealed that some developers continue to use dangerous cladding materials.
While it seems strange that developers would continue to use combustible materials on their buildings, one must acknowledge that doing so is not against the law. That’s because the government seems to be constantly delaying a proposed ban of combustible cladding.
Despite proposing a ban and commissioning a consultation into its validity, no official government statement has been made, even though the consultation finished in May 2020. As a result, developers are allowed to continue building with dangerous materials and then selling the leaseholds for the flats inside.
As many leaseholders have already discovered, owning a flat with dangerous cladding is an albatross impossible to shake off.
The government has pledged a pot of money to help leaseholders pay for cladding to be removed, but this has been widely criticised for being inadequate, barely scratching the surface of the issue.
Even lifelong Tory voters are starting to abandon the party over its handling of the cladding scandal as the media starts to report that “of 66 residential projects that used rainscreen cladding systems in blocks between 11m and 18m in height in 2019 and 2020, 51 are believed to have used combustible insulation”.
Julie Fraser from the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign said:
“We are dumbfounded by the fact that hundreds of ‘medium-rise’ buildings are still being constructed using combustible insulation.
“One of the clear issues that has been uncovered by the building safety crisis is that buildings below 18m have been constructed with even less regard for important safety measures, due to the weak regulations in place that allowed developers to save a few pounds.
“As it stands, this two-tier system is set to continue, and will mean new homeowners will also potentially be trapped.”