Sadiq Khan demands action from owners of buildings with dangerous cladding

3 September 2020 | General

The Mayor of London has written to more than 40 London landlords to demand they begin work to remove dangerous aluminium composite materials (ACM) cladding immediately.

In a letter to building owners who have had funding applications approved but are yet to start remediation work, Sadiq Khan has urged them to ‘take all the necessary steps to accelerate your plans to remove and replace unsafe ACM cladding’.

Three years after the Grenfell Tower fire, Khan has raised concerns that thousands of Londoners are still living in unsafe buildings.

The Greater London Authority administers the government’s Social and Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Funds, which building owners can apply to for financial assistance in carrying out work to remove and replace dangerous ACM cladding.

So far 65 buildings owned by social landlords have been allocated funding and 60 buildings owned by private sector landlords have applied to the funds.

London has more than twice as many private ACM blocks as the rest of the country combined.

The letter comes ahead of Khan attending the London Building Safety Action summit alongside ministers and borough leaders.

The Mayor is calling on the government to take action, including covering the costs of interim fire safety measures in ACM-clad buildings, while he is also asking for clarification on what enforcement mechanisms will be available to penalise building owners who have failed to make their building safe.

The full text of letter to building owners is below:

I am writing to you regarding your grant under the Social or Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund (SSCRF/PSCRF), which the Greater London Authority (GLA) is administering. You are receiving this letter because your building has not yet started works on site to remove the unsafe cladding, and I am concerned about the pace of remediation.

More than three years after the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, I am deeply worried to see the number of buildings in London that still have unsafe aluminium composite materials (ACM) cladding. Given the high risk that unsafe ACM presents to residents and visitors, it is unacceptable that remediating buildings is taking so long.

I have always made it clear that the safety of residents is the absolute priority. I am sure you will agree that providing residents with real certainty, clear progress and a firm date for the completion of these works is vital. I therefore urge you to take all the necessary steps to accelerate your plans to remove and replace unsafe ACM cladding and keep residents and the GLA updated.

I would ask that you provide your case worker in the GLA’s building safety or area teams with a written update on your remediation plans, including providing them with accurate and up to date milestones and accurate and up to date cost estimates.

The GLA is working closely with London boroughs, London Fire Brigade and the Government on potential enforcement where building owners fail to progress at pace.

Once again, I urge you to prioritise the remediation of unsafe ACM from your residential buildings and to do everything you can to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of residents. My team will be happy to assist with any queries you have about the funding programmes we administer.

This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.