Housing Secretary Michael Gove has written to manufacturers, calling for them to make financial contributions “this year and in subsequent years to fund remediation of unsafe cladding on 11-18 metre buildings.”
In a letter to the Construction Products Association, Gove is also asking them to agree to “provide comprehensive information on all buildings over 11m which have historic fire-safety defects to which these companies have supplied products or services.”
He says he is providing a “window of opportunity” between now and March to be proactive.
The letter reads: “My starting point is that it is clearly unjust that innocent leaseholders should be landed with bills to remove cladding products from their buildings they had no reason to suspect were dangerous.
“The range of past practices in the industry – across its approach to manufacturing, marketing and testing – has rightly been a source of huge concern to Parliament and the public.
“Without prejudicing the results of the Grenfell Inquiry, there is no doubt that the documentary evidence that has been published relating to the culture and practices of major cladding and insulation manufacturers has been extremely alarming.”
On the deal he wishes to strike with manufacturers, he says: “I am offering a window of opportunity, between now and March, for the sector to work with my department through open and transparent negotiations to agree a settlement that will restore confidence and secure an appropriate contribution from the sector.
“A new deal must include a clear commitment from the sector that they agree to make financial contributions in this year and in subsequent years as we have already asked developers to do.
“The total contribution from the cladding and insulation sector must represent a significant portion of the total remediation costs, caused by the dangerous products sold by some of your members.
“The current estimated cost to remediate unsafe cladding on 11-18m and over 18m buildings is £4bn and £5.1bn respectively.”
But there was a warning for industry if they do not comply.
“I am sure you are as committed as I am to fixing this broken system, and I hope we can work together to do that.
“But I must be clear, I am prepared to do whatever it takes to deliver our objective including using our regulatory framework to limit any culpable company from operating and selling products in this country in the future; and I will pursue those individuals and firms liable for building defects who are unwilling to do the right thing now.
“There is no future for those companies and directors who are not fully committed to upholding the safety of residents and fixing past wrongs.”