Three more developers sign Gove’s fire-safety pledge

Three more developers have signed up to the pledge to fix fire-safety defects after being named and shamed by the government.

Eleven developers failed to meet the 13 March deadline set by Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove to sign the government pledge, which seeks to ensure all major homebuilders take legal responsibility for remediating fire-safety problems with buildings they developed. 

But developer Ballymore has now signed the pledge, as has Telford Homes and London Square. 

A number of major developers such as Lendlease, Galliard Homes and Avant Homes are yet to sign up to the government pledge, as are Rydon Homes, Jones Homes, Inland Homes, Abbey Developments and Dandara.

Speaking to the Levelling Up committee on Monday (20 March), Richard Goodman, the government’s director general for building safety and Grenfell, said: We are in conversation with all those developers [who haven’t signed] and I hope to receive more signatures over the course of this week.

In the coming days the secretary of state will outline the pathway forward for those [developers] who have not signed.”

At the same committee, building safety minister Lee Rowley explained that the government was trying to ensure companies that are responsible for problems are paying their fair share.

Responding to a comment about the need to provide certainty to industry, Rowley said: We are keen for certainty as well. Nothing here is simple, it is a complicated environment.

However, it can be made more sensible if people come to the table, people and organisations have choices about that. Some people in the sector have made a choice not to come to the table… we are working through this in a steady, careful and managed way, but we will get there.”

In a statement issued late on Friday (17 March), Ballymore said: “Ballymore can confirm that it has signed the UK government’s building safety contract, following final discussions this week with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities [DLUHC].”

The developer had previously said it was finalising the “last remaining” details before signing the pledge.

A spokesperson for Telford Homes said: “Telford Homes can confirm we have signed the government’s binding pledge contract.”

A total of 46 companies have now signed the government contract, which means that they will reimburse any funds they have drawn from the £5.1bn Building Safety Fund created by the government to remediate cladding defects.

Gove said he would seek to bar the non-signatories from public work, telling the House of Commons that he would write to public bodies to ask that they “reopen tender-award processes” where the companies had already been named on projects.

The companies that have not signed will be “out of the housebuilding business in England entirely, unless and until they change their course”, Gove added.

“They will not be able to commence new developments in England or receive building-control approval for work which is already underway.”

The companies that sign the contract, including Morgan Sindall, will be added to a new Responsible Actors Scheme, which will act as a guide to procurement bodies and other groups as to which companies can be contracted to work in England.

Their commitments mean at least 1,100 buildings will be fixed, via £2bn worth of funding, Gove said.

DLUHC has been contacted for comment.

Leave a comment