Local Government Association Chairman Lord Porter responds to the Government’s consultation on strengthening fire testing for cladding systems on residential buildings.
Lord Porter said: “The LGA explained to the Government several months ago that Approved Document B needed revising in order to provide clarity for building owners seeking to replace flammable cladding, so we are pleased to see this consultation emerge.
“Currently, if no fire test data exists for a particular cladding system, a desktop study can be submitted. We have consistently said that desktop studies cannot substitute for real-world tests of cladding systems — including in our evidence to the Hackitt Review. We urge the Government to hold firm against industry pressure that seeks to allow their continued use.
“What happened at Grenfell Tower can never be allowed to happen again and no one should have to live in fear about their safety, be that in the buildings they live in, work in or visit.
“Councils have acted quickly to put in safety measures in their high-rise blocks to reassure residents. With a large number of high-rise buildings affected by fire safety test fails owned by private landlords, councils continue to work hard to support building owners in their area to deal with the issue and to try and confirm with the owners of thousands of private high-rise residential buildings to identify the cladding and insulation systems on those blocks.
“While councils will continue to get on with what they need to do and are ready to play a leading role in making sure a new system of building regulation works, significant funding concerns remain. The Government needs to meet the unexpected exceptional costs for councils arising from conducting fire safety and major remedial work and for any essential fire and safety measures needed.”