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UK Government bans combustible materials on high-rise homes

February 2019
Sheila Pantry OBE

The UK government is banning combustible materials on new high-rise homes and is giving support to local authorities to carry out emergency remediation work. Combustible materials ban follows an announcement made in the Summer 2018 that Local authorities carry out emergency remediation work on private residential buildings above 18 metres which still contain aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding. Costs to be recovered from building owners.

Regulations were laid in the UK Parliament on 29 November 2018 which give legal effect to the combustible materials ban announced in the summer. The ban means combustible materials will not be permitted on the external walls of new buildings over 18 metres containing flats, as well as new hospitals, residential care premises, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation over 18 metres.

Schools over 18 metres which are built as part of the government’s centrally delivered build programmes will also not use combustible materials, in line with the terms of the ban, in the external wall.

Secretary of State for Communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP is also taking action to speed up the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding, like the type used on Grenfell Tower.

Local authorities will get the government’s full backing, including financial support if necessary, to enable them to carry out emergency work on affected private residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding. They will recover the costs from building owners. This will allow buildings to be made permanently safe without delay.

The government is already fully funding the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on social sector buildings above 18 metres.

Secretary of State for Communities said: “Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes and I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders. My message is clear – private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later”.

More information:

2019 Conferences

Readers may also be interested in the following events:

27 February 2019 – Building a Safer Future organised by the Fire Protection Association

This seminar will feature leading experts who will discuss the Government’s implementation plan to the Hackitt Review and how safety standards and regulations are changing in the wake of Grenfell. You will discover implications for industry, stakeholders, and residents of tall buildings, and how different agencies can work together to improve and promote fire safety.

The government’s response to Dame Judith’s recommendations, “Building a Safer Future”, was released in December and confirmed that a ‘stronger and more effective regulatory framework’ is required which ‘commits the government to a programme of reform over the coming years’. It is paramount that businesses are prepared and equipped for the imminent forthcoming changes.

FPA members receive a 10% discount (Corporate bookings of six or more should be made directly by calling 01608 812 500).

Venue: The Fire Service College, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0RH

Full details:

19 March 2019 – Westminster Social Policy Forum Keynote Seminar: Next steps for building regulations in England

Keynotes: Dame Judith Hackitt and Clive Betts MP and Peter Apps, Inside Housing; Peter Capelhorn, Construction Products Association; Professor Helen Carr, University of Kent; Paul Everall, Local Authority Building Control; Elaine Bailey, Hyde Group, Gary Strong, International Fire Safety Standards Coalition and RICS; Professor Tom Woolley, Rachel Bevan Architects and Anglia Ruskin University; Adreena Parkin-Coates, London Fire Brigade and National Fire Chiefs Council and Paul Wilkins, Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors and Butler & Young Group.

Chaired by: Mark Prisk MP, Member, House of Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee.

Full details: