CTI Blog - Debate on combustible cladding ban is still open, despite inflated political statements
This blog post is by CTI Director and TTF Managing Director David Hopkins
As I am sure you are aware, this week at the Conservative Party Conference, Housing Secretary James Brokenshire made the following statement:
“Combustible cladding is to be banned for all new schools, hospitals, care homes, student accommodation and residential buildings in England above 18m.
The ban, which follows a lengthy government consultation, will cover all combustible materials, including cladding, on new buildings. However, it will not be applied retrospectively where materials have already been fitted. The new ban will be implemented through changes to building regulations to be brought forward in late autumn.” [Read more]
The TTF laid out its response to the Govt consultation on combustible materials via the CTI [See response HERE] While we can understand the need to introduce a ban over 18 metres, we still believe this will solve nothing without enforcement. The materials used in Grenfell did not pass the current regulations, yet were still used. Introducing tougher regulations, such as a ban, will only work if these regulations are enforced.
Our bigger worry is that the rhetoric from this approach effectively bans the use of timber at lower levels and on buildings below 18 metres. This will come via changes in the Building Regulations. However, the new ban is still subject to further consultation, so there is no immediate change, nor would they be applied retrospectively.
TTF is working with all industry partners across the supply chain – WPA, BWF, STA and TRADA – on a range of projects to help inform this debate, including a public affairs campaign. This is putting us in active, ongoing dialogue with all key Ministerial departments as well as key local authority stakeholders such as GLA and Local Government Association, to ensure our voice is heard in this debate.
We will continue to lobby for the acceptance of timber as a vital structural and cladding material as per our consultation response. There is still a lot of work to do as the argument is far from being resolved. Ministers often make over inflated statements at party conference, but this does not mean the policy is enacted quite as described.
We will keep you updated on progress and lay out more detailed information as to what we are doing as a joined up industry supply chain to help ensure we keep growing the market for timber.