UK to ban combustible cladding on all high-rise within months

Response to Grenfell Tower fire tragedy to be announced at Conservative conference

The UK is to ban the use of combustible cladding on all new residential buildings above 18 metres, as well as schools, care homes, student accommodation and hospitals.

The measure, resulting from a lengthy consultation following last year's Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, is to be announced by British housing secretary James Brokenshire at the Conservative conference on Birmingham on Monday.

Flammable cladding was blamed for the rapid spread of the fire at the West London high-rise, which claimed 72 lives in June 2017.

In his keynote address to conference, Mr Brokenshire will say: “It’s been over a year since the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire.


“This unimaginable horror has rightly shocked us all and underlined the need to do all that we can to see that such a disaster cannot happen again.

“My work with Grenfell United and the wider community has been hugely helpful in keeping this issue right at the top of the Government’s agenda.

“And that is why today I can confirm that I will change the building regulations to ban the use of combustible cladding for all high-rise residential buildings, hospitals, care homes and student accommodation.

“And bring about a change in culture on building safety.”

The ban will cover all combustible materials, including cladding, on new buildings. But it will not be applied retrospectively where materials have already been fitted.

The Government is already undertaking a €420 million programme to remove suspect cladding from all high-rise social housing in England and is working with those responsible for private blocks to take action

The ban will be implemented through changes to building regulations to be brought forward in late autumn.

- PA