March 2021

Written by:

Steven Livingston

Steven Livingston

Account Director

Building Safety Unit research reveals scale of the cladding challenge

New research conducted by YouGov and commissioned by BECG, has found that 75 percent of people in the UK believe the government could either have done more (17 percent) or has not done enough (58 percent) to ensure the removal of flammable cladding from residential buildings since the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017.  

Almost two thirds (6percent) of people, including 56 percent of Conservative voters, back further Government support for funding to carry out works on any residential building, privately or publicly owned, to bring them in line with current fire safety regulations. This includes the removal of unsafe cladding on buildings under 18 meters, with 63 percent of people believing that the height-based allocation of funding thus far has been unfair.  

The report also reveals that 62 percent of Londoners think that the cladding scandal has affected public confidence in new build housing, compared to just 40 percent of people in the North of England and 37 percent in the Midlands and Wales. 

The news comes as MPs debated the Fire Safety Bill in Parliament last night (24 February), reviewing the amendments proposed by the House of Lords. The Amendment to protect leaseholders and tenants from paying remediation costs was also rejected, by 340-225 in favour of a government motion not to back the amendment. Home Office Minister, Kit Malthouse pointed out the recent government announcement of an additional £3.5 billion reflects the commitment of the Government to provide leaseholders with “peace of mind and financial certainty”. Mr Malthouse suggested that the Fire Safety Bill “is not the correct place for remediation costs to be addressed”, but rather the Building Safety Bill which is set to be introduced in the spring.

Jennifer Riddell Carpenter, Director of the Building Safety Unit at BECG, commented:  

These results demonstrate the scale of the challenge for Government as it addresses the systemic failings in the building control system over multiple decades. The Governments latest package of support, announced on 10th February, extended the funding to remove cladding from buildings over 18 metres to £5blnbut did not cover buildings beneath this height. 

This polling, conducted after the extension of funding was announced, demonstrates that the public remain concerned about the fairness of a scheme that does not cover lower rise buildings whilst supporting further Government funding being made available.

For more information go to becg.com/building-safety-unit.