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UK: Housebuilders set to spend £1.3B for mid-rise blocks’ fire safety

UK: Housebuilders set to spend £1.3B for mid-rise blocks’ fire safety

Major housebuilders across the United Kingdom have reportedly pledged to spend approximately £1.3 billion to remove cladding as well as other fire hazards from mid-rise housing blocks, although they are still shy of the projected £4 billion required to prevent a repeat of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Redrow and Barratt Developments were the most recent to declare how much money they will set aside to solve these life-threatening fire regulations flaws in housing projects built by the companies over the last 30 years. Barratt estimated that the proposal will cost it more than £400 million, while Redrow estimated that it would cost it £200 million.

In the face of mounting government pressure, the sums have added to the capital that has already been put aside by rivals such as Bellway, which has invested £186.5 million so far, and Taylor Wimpey, which has agreed to spend almost £245 million.

Earlier this week, Persimmon stated that it expects to spend around £75 million to fix the problem, while Crest Nicholson estimated that the restoration work will cost it around £80 to £120 million. Berkeley Group claimed that it is committed to address the problem however refrained from providing any estimates.

The combined contributions from the UK's major housing developers are still low on the £4 billion the government estimates are required to address fire risks in mid-rise housing complexes, ranging in height from 11 to 18 meters, in Scotland, England, and Wales.

The financial commitments so far come in the wake of housing secretary, Michael Gove, pressuring 53 UK housebuilders to sign over a pledge to cover restoration expenses and safeguard leaseholders from having to foot the bill.

Some private developers, on the other hand, are said to be delaying pledges due to concerns that the financial strain may force them into bankruptcy.

The expense of removing dangers such as cladding from structures taller than 18 meters would be partially covered by a 4% fee on housebuilder earnings from UK housing projects.

According to the Home Builders Federation (HBF), the money committed thus far demonstrates the willingness of UK house developers to step up and satisfy the state's 'polluter pays' demand, as well as our long-stated position that leaseholders must not foot the tab.

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Meghna Singh

An English Literature graduate, Meghna Singh ventured into the profession of content development to incorporate her knack for writing articles across verticals including technology, healthcare, business, and alike for News Origins and Newsorigins. She has also completed her MBA in Tourism and worked as a content creator in the field of product development.