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Minister demands meeting with developers over repairs to unsafe buildings in Wales

27 May 2022 2 minutes Read
Photo Welsh Government

Minister for Climate Change Julie James has confirmed she has written to property developers inviting them to a meeting to discuss their building in Wales which require repairs due to safety defects.

In a written statement the minister says the Welsh Government’s approach to repairs to these buildings “is the fundamental belief that developers should contribute towards the costs of fixing these problems” and criticised the England-only agreement on repairs that was announced last month by Michael Gove.

The UK Government secured a deal with thirty-five major property developers in April after they agreed to pay £5 billion towards fire safety remediation costs – after they were warned that those who did not sign up for the voluntary pledge could be banned from carrying out new construction projects.

Deeply disappointed

“I was deeply disappointed when the Secretary of State for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities Michael Gove announced an England-only building safety levy and associated developer pledge last month,” Ms James observed in here statement.

“Despite clear and repeated representations from the Welsh and Scottish Governments the pledge and subsequent contract are both being taken forward on an England only basis.

“Some developers have already voluntarily extended the pledge to Wales.  This is an extremely positive step forward and I commend these firms for taking it.

“In so doing, they will bring an end to the suffering experienced by leaseholders and all the residents of these affected buildings, while also helping to repair the industry’s reputation.

“I feel sure these developers are not alone and there are others in the industry, which share my firm conviction their responsibility extends to the buildings they developed in Wales.”

Timeframes

The minister said she was writing to all developers – those who signed the pledge in England and those who did not – “to meet me to discuss the timeframes they have in place to repair safety defects in their buildings in Wales”

“While I would prefer to work in collaboration with developers to secure the required remediation for Welsh leaseholders, I am prepared to use all the powers at my disposal to pursue developers who do not engage.

“I have published a list of developers who have chosen not to engage with me. I am clear that failing to act should have significant reputational and commercial consequences for the firms involved.”


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