THE Scottish Government has confirmed that some of the country’s largest housing developers have agreed to work with it to address cladding issues.
Holyrood said the Scottish Safer Building Accord will give affected homeowners a ‘clear path’ to ensuring their homes are safe, with developers set to be expected to fund works to properties they built to address safety issues identified through the Scottish Government’s single building assessment programme.
The assessment programme, announced last year as a pilot, will be expanded to include a further 80 buildings – meaning that more than 100 high-rise towers in total will be part of the scheme. The government added that a new streamlined process for commissioning the assessments will help identify at-risk buildings more quickly.
Housing secretary Shona Robison said, “This is the next big step towards addressing the cladding crisis in Scotland. While I know this has been a stressful and frustrating time for affected homeowners, it has been vital that we take the time to understand this incredibly complex issue so we can now start to address it. Let me reassure homeowners again that we expect the vast majority of buildings to be safe.
“Although the Scottish and Welsh Governments worked hard to seek a four-nations solution to support these homeowners, we have been disappointed at the England-only approach taken by the UK Government. I see no reason why a developer that has agreed to fund works in England would decline to make the same commitment for Scotland.
“We are reliant on consequential spending from the UK Government for this programme, and have committed to spending any and all consequentials received for cladding on assessment, safety and remediation for homeowners.
“This is a problem government can’t fix alone, and I look forward to working collaboratively and at pace with developers and homeowners to fix buildings affected by dangerous cladding.”
Chris Ashurst, High Rise Scotland Action Group co-ordinator, added, “The Scottish Safer Buildings Accord, initiated by the Scottish Government, is good news, and such a joint, collaborative approach with developers and industry is the best way to get the right outcome for homeowners.”
The Scottish Safer Buildings Accord is being developed with Homes for Scotland, a membership body for housing developers, alongside homeowners, and other partner organisations. These groups will work collaboratively to identify solutions for domestic buildings affected by cladding issues.
Nicola Barclay, Homes for Scotland chief executive, commented, “I am pleased to confirm that Homes for Scotland has agreed to work with its members and Scottish Government to develop an accord which will include the broader sector in time, reflecting the responsibilities of all parties involved in the design, construction and inspection of buildings.”