Government sets March deadline for developers to come up with £4bn cladding plan


Housing Secretary Michael Gove has said that developers must agree to a £4 billion plan to fix dangerous cladding on low-rise flats by early March or force new laws to be implemented.

The cabinet minister threatened that he was “ready to take all necessary steps” to fix the “broken system” in a letter to the industry before detailing the plans on Monday.

Possible actions include restricting access to government funds and future purchases, exercising planning powers, and pursuing firms through the courts.

Grenfell Tower in West London (Steve Parsons / PA) , PA Wire

The proposal to reduce the scam that entraps lessees in unsafe and unsold homes comes more than four years after the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 killed 72 people.

Leaseholders in buildings between 11 m (36 ft) and 18 m (59 ft) will no longer have to take out loans to cover the cost of improvement work, despite no new money coming from the Treasury.

Instead, Mr Gove asked developers to agree to start contributing this year to cover the “full outstanding cost”, which is estimated to be £4 billion.

The housing secretary is expected to meet with cladding campaigners on Monday morning before detailing the plan in the Commons

In a letter being sent Monday to the residential property developer industry, Mr Gove set a deadline of “early March” for publicly accepting his ultimatum and providing a “fully funded action plan”.

“Our home should be a source of security and pride. For many people living in properties created by your industry in recent years, their home has become a source of misery. This must change,” he wrote.

Mr Gove said he was sure he was also committed to fixing a “broken system”, but warned he was “ready to take all necessary steps to do so”, including “if necessary So the law involves enforcing the solution”.