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Home>Fire>Fire Doors>Minister delivers major announcement on building safety in Wales

Minister delivers major announcement on building safety in Wales

11 October 2022

THE WELSH Government’s climate change minister Julie James has provided a major update on building safety in Wales following “constructive” meetings with developers. The minister has provided a number of key updates, in fact, which includes detail on progress relating to the Welsh Government’s Developers Pact – a pledge designed for companies to confirm their intention to address fire safety issues in buildings of 11 metres and above in height in which they’ve had a hand in developing across the last three decades.

James confirmed that major developers have signed up to the Developers Pact and, in some cases, remediation work has already started. Developers who’ve signed the Developers Pact are Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, Lovell, McCarthy and Stone, Countryside, Vistry, Redrow, Crest Nicholson and Barratt. Unsafe cladding and other fire safety-related issues are to be remedied.

“I have always made it clear,” stated James, “that I do not expect leaseholders to bear the cost of repairing fire safety issues that are not of their making and that I expect developers to step up to their responsibilities. I’m very pleased that, following on from our meeting in July, a number of major developers have acknowledged their responsibility by signing up to the Welsh Government’s Developers Pact.”

James has met with the developers listed to confirm next steps and their plans and timescales for remediation. “I wish to commend them for their engagement to date,” continued the minister, “and look forward to a productive relationship in the future. In some cases, developers have already started their remediation works and are making the repairs necessary. I look forward to this work continuing at pace.”

Key updates

The climate change minister also provided key updates on vital survey work carried out through the Welsh Building Safety Fund, reform of the current legislative system and the Leaseholder Support Scheme, while also focusing attentions on reimbursing those who’ve already paid for survey work.

The minister observed: “I have been made aware that, in a number of cases, survey work was undertaken prior to the launch of the Welsh Building Safety Fund and has been funded by residents, building owners or managing agents. Where this has happened, and subject to certain eligibility criteria being met, I can confirm that surveys costs will be reimbursed by the Welsh Government.”

Further, James explained: “While it’s right that developers take responsibility for defects for which they’re accountable, building owners and managing agents also have accountabilities when it comes to ensuring the safety of buildings. It’s important that effective maintenance programmes are in place.”  

James would “encourage” all residents to assure themselves that maintenance on their buildings is being carried out in accordance with their lease agreements.