Welsh Government criticised for failing cladding and fire safety victims
The Welsh Government has been criticised for failing to put pressure on property developers to contribute to fire safety remediation costs in Wales, and a lack of urgency in resolving the cladding scandal.
Earlier this month, thirty-five of the biggest property developers in the UK agreed to pay £5 billion towards fire safety remediation costs in England after the UK Government warned those who do not sign up for the voluntary pledge could be banned from carrying out new construction projects in England.
However, a number of the companies which also operate in Wales have failed to pay out towards remediation costs within Wales.
Campaign ground ‘Ripped Off By Redrow’ has highlighted how developer Redrow signed up to pay towards remediation in England but not towards its affected properties in Wales.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have slammed the Welsh Government over its “silence” after the new measures to assist cladding and fire safety victims in England were announced and called on Welsh ministers to follow Westminster’s lead.
The Welsh Government has yet to make any statement following the announcement.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “Labour cannot continue to remain silent on this issue. If the UK Government can force developers to the table in England, there is no reason why the Welsh Government cannot do the same.
“It is simply not acceptable we could be left in the perverse situation where property developers agree to pay towards remediation costs on their properties in England, but not on their properties in Wales.
“We are also yet to receive any clarity from the Welsh Government on whether all sections of the Building Safety Bill introduced in England will become law in Wales.
“Almost five years have passed since the Grenfell tragedy and communication between those affected by the fire safety crisis and the Welsh Government remains poor. Labour must start treating this issue with the urgency it deserves.”
Since the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017 and the subsequent revelation of widespread dangerous building defects, thousands of leaseholders have faced huge bills to fix their homes leaving them at risk of homelessness or bankruptcy.
The Welsh government has previously made £10.5m available to remove ACM cladding for homes in the social sector but according to campaigners, some leaseholders are facing bills in excess of £50,000 each for their unsellable, fire defective properties.
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Welsh Gov should do something similar regarding future planning consents. Some of these major developers are a law unto themselves and need a severe reining in. The fact that they were building a defective “product” is of itself a disgrace, but there again the fire regs of the time were very lax especially when it came to testing and approval of compounds used in cladding and building materials in general. Too many vested interests.