Persimmon has put forward a provision of £75m to address cladding safety issues on 26 buildings within its legacy development portfolio.
Following a review of past projects, the housebuilder has identified nine high-rise buildings over 18 metres built by the group where, in line with government guidance, cladding may need to be removed.
While Persimmon does not own any of these buildings, and the legal responsibility and duty to ensure the building is safe rests with the current owners, the firm says it will provide technical support to ensure buildings are made safe.
A further 17 buildings below 18m will also be assessed using a government-required risk-based approach to determine whether cladding needs to be removed.
Persimmon will lead this work on buildings it owns and will support owners and other parties in their efforts to ensure the buildings are safe for residents on those it doesn’t own.
In all cases, Persimmon said it stands ready to provide the support necessary to make sure the work is done should a building owner fail to step up and accept their responsibilities.
The group is in the process of writing to building owners, management companies, and factors to inform them of the findings of its review and agree next steps.
Roger Devlin, chair of Persimmon, said: “It is the group’s intention to progress matters as swiftly as possible, minimising uncertainty and concern for residents.
“The concern around now banned cladding is affecting many thousands of homeowners who live in high-rise buildings right across the country.
“At Persimmon, we believe we have a clear duty to act to address this issue. So today we are setting aside £75m towards any necessary cladding remediation and safety work in 26 developments we built.
“Where we still own the building we will act. Where we no longer own them, we will work with the owners to make sure they meet their legal responsibilities and duty.
“If the owner does not step up, then we will act to remove uncertainty and anxiety for residents and make the buildings safe.
“This is a decision which we believe is not only right for residents but also the right thing for us to do as one of the leading housebuilders in the UK.
“We want Persimmon to be a business with a long-term, responsible, and sustainable future and hope our actions today demonstrate a clear commitment to these values.”
Earlier today, Housing secretary Robert Jenrick revealed a new £3.5bn cladding fund that will go toward remediation works on high-rise buildings in England.
The announcement followed growing pressure from hundreds of thousands of leaseholders facing bills rising in the worst case to more than £100,000, backbench Tory MPs, and survivors and bereaved from the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017.
It is estimated that around 274,000 flats have been fitted with dangerous cladding, according to the Association of Residential Managing Agents, affecting more than 650,000 people.
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