CTI News & Events

CTI Briefing Paper highlights potential Timber Industry losses due to Combustible Materials Ban

The Confederation of Timber Industries has produced a briefing paper summarising its view on two major topics of discussion such as Combustible Materials Ban and Fire Safety.

The factsheet focuses on possible actions the Government could take to improve fire safety of buildings by setting a clear regulatory framework.

The paper also warns of the "unforeseen consequences to homeowners and the construction industry" that an indiscriminate ban on combustible materials could trigger and recommends the establishment of a "licensing system for use of materials."

"In order to improve the safety of buildings, the Government must ensure that any new regime is both enforceable and enforced," says the paper. "Arguably one of the challenges to date has been lack of adherence to and enforcement of, existing building regulations and guidance. There has also been some confusion and a lack of clarity in the existing regulatory framework. Unless there is a cultural shift, any changes to the regulatory framework will not have the intended effect of making buildings safer.  

"As the London Fire Brigade said in its response to the Government’s consultation on banning combustible materials: 'a ban requires careful consideration to ensure there are not unintended consequences.”

"We therefore believe that a licensing system for use of materials – rather than an outright ban – is likely to be a more effective means of ensuring buildings are as safe as possible."

On the extent of combustible materials ban, the CTI "supports changes to limit the use of (and in some cases ban) combustible materials in taller buildings. However, the Government has not been clear regarding whether or not it intends any changes to apply simply to cladding, or to the structural wall in its entirety.

"If the scope of the ban were to include the structural wall as well as the cladding wall, then the impact will be a massive limitation in access to the materials available for building and the stifling of innovation, investment and employment."   

Download the briefing paper here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-briefing-paper-highlights-potential-timber-industry-losses-due-combustible-materials-ban]

Government pledges to prioritise the timber industry after Brexit

Last Wednesday, at the Westminster Hall debate on Leaving the EU, Environment Minister David Rutley MP committed to “strengthening the timber trade” during a parliamentary debate on the implications of Brexit on the timber industry.

Describing the industry as a “real priority” for Government, the Minister also pledged to make sure that timber importers face as “few additional costs as possible” after Brexit.

The comments came after Martin Whitfield MP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries, urged the Government to ensure that after we leave the EU, timber imports can continue clear customs the same way they do now [Read more].

Martin Whitfield MP said: “Without frictionless trade, I believe we face a clear challenge to build the number of homes the Prime Minister has committed to providing over this parliament.

This challenge exists because the supply of timber is essential to meeting housing demands. This sector, which contributes £10bn to the UK economy each year is still hugely reliant on trade with EU countries. Incredibly, 90% of the timber used to build homes in the UK is imported from across Europe.”

David Hopkins, Director of the Confederation of the Timber Industries (CTI) said: “We welcome the Minister’s commitment to minimise the additional costs of Brexit on the import and export of timber. I am glad that the Government understands the indispensable role our industry plays in the UK construction sector and the wider economy.

“It is encouraging that David Rutley MP has agreed to meet with the APPG for the Timber Industries to further discuss how the Government can support the timber sector and, therefore, ensure the Government achieves its house building targets.”

The Confederation of Timber Industries has already secured a number of concessions from Government in relation to the sector‘s future after the UK leaves the European Union.

Earlier this year Government committed to protect timber businesses from up-front payments of VAT in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This followed earlier Ministerial commitments to retain the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) after the UK leaves the European Union, following pressure from the industry.


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A full transcript of the Westminster Hall debate on Leaving the EU: Timber Industry is available here.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries is the cross-party group which champions the timber industries in Parliament. Its Chair is Martin Whitfield MP and the secretariat is provided by the Confederation of Timber Industries. Find out more here.

 

*Read also:

31.10.18 - If the PM is serious about solving the housing crisis, she must scrap Chequers & broker an improved deal that ensures timber can clear customs freely

26.10.18 - Martin Whitfield MP elected new Chair of Timber Industries APPG

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/government-pledges-prioritise-timber-industry-after-brexit]