Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on 2 April 2020 announced the
next steps to further reform the Building Safety system to ensure
residents are safe in their homes.
The announcement was made in response to the earlier consultation "Building a Safer
Future" issued in June 2019 and the new measures
announced on 2 April include mandatory sprinkler systems and
consistent wayfinding signage in all new high-rise blocks of flats
over 11 metres tall.
The Government will legislate for the new reforms through the Building Safety Bill announced in the Queen's
Speech in December last year.
The Government has also appointed construction expert, David
Hancock, to review the progress of removing unsafe ACM claddings
from buildings. The Government says the reforms are designed to
incentivise compliance and to better enable the use of enforcement
powers and sanctions, including prosecution where the rules are not
followed. This announcement follows an earlier announcement of
the intention to create a new, national Building Safety Regulator,
which is already being established in shadow form by the Health and
The latest non-ACM (aluminium composite material)
cladding testing results were also published alongside
the announcement and show that none of the materials tested,
including high-pressure laminate (HPL) and timber cladding, behaved
in the same way as ACM.
The Government says that any unsafe materials should be removed
from buildings quickly. External wall systems on high-rise
buildings using Class C or D HPL panels are unsafe and should be
removed as they do not comply with building regulations.
The Government says that they recognise the challenges presented
to the building industry by the coronavirus outbreak but stress
that the work to remove unsafe cladding from buildings is critical
to public safety and so remains a top priority and they want to
ensure that remediation work continues where it is safe to do so.
The Government has also made it clear that vital maintenance and
repair work can continue to take place in line with public health
Further information is set out in a letter
from the Secretary of State to Members of