Planning block for dissenting developers gets legal standing

Developers caught dragging their heels on remediation work to fix dangerous cladding will face planning permission blocks under newly tabled rules.

Housebuilders slow to remove unsafe cladding and other materials will be barred from obtaining planning permission and building on their existing planning permission, under regulations introduced by the government.

The rules, which came into force on 1 September, will also see housebuilders that refuse to comply face difficulty getting building control signed off.

Providing an update on the regulations, levelling up secretary Greg Clark (pictured) said it was important that developers acted to improve the safety of buildings they constructed “without delay”.

He laid out his “responsible actors” scheme that will see housebuilders that do remediate their buildings stay on the scheme. It has been written within sections 126-129 of the Building Safety Act.

Those the government deems have to failed to carry out the remediation work they are responsible for will be pushed out of the responsible actors scheme and could be subject to consequent action from the housing secretary.

“Our proposed scheme will help identify the few developers who are refusing to pull their weight to help fix the cladding crisis,” Clark said. The relevant legislation came into force on 1 September.

Clark’s predecessor, Michael Gove, threatened developers with the ban on planning permission in February, when he was pushing developers to sign a pledge that committed them to remediating unsafe buildings they had already built.

The 49 developers that signed the pledge are now being asked to sign contracts to cover the remediation work, which has stalled. Last month the House Builders Federation (HBF), which represents developers across the UK, said there were “several areas of discussion ongoing” over the contract.

“In the meantime, developers must sign the final contracts, which commit them to fix unsafe buildings they are responsible for,” Clark added.

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