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Buildings: Greater London

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 125012, tabled on 18 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department plans to take in response to data published by the London Fire Brigade that 1,149 buildings in London require emergency measures due to fire safety defects.

Answered on

28 February 2022

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 the Responsible Person has duties to ensure the safety of occupants in their building from fire risks and identifying suitable mitigating measures where they are needed. Each Fire and Rescue Authority is required to have a risk-based inspection programme and management strategy in place to ensure compliance with the Fire Safety Order in their area. They audit premises to check compliance with its provisions and can take enforcement action where non-compliance is identified.

The Government is providing £5.1 billion to address the fire safety risks caused by unsafe cladding on high-rise residential buildings, to protect residents and leaseholders from costs and prioritising the highest risk buildings. We are also providing over £60m to replace costly Waking Watch measures with fire alarms in all buildings with a waking watch regardless of height or the reason for the waking watch being in place.

We have tabled a series of amendments to the Building Safety Bill that will require that historical safety defects in any building above 11 metres owned by the developer who built or refurbished it or by the landlord associated with that developer must be fixed by them, and that building owners and non-residents that can afford to pay must not pass on any costs relating to historical safety defects to leaseholders.