MPs raise ‘urgent’ safety concerns after cladding removal

A group of MPs is to raise safety concerns urgently with the government after it heard that some buildings may have been left in an unsafe condition following the removal of combustible cladding.

The claims emerged as part of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s inquiry into the independent review of Building Regulations, reports Construction Manager.

British Board of Agrément chief executive Claire Curtis-Thomas told MPs during an evidence session that she was aware of as many as 30 buildings that did not now comply with fire safety regulations after the removal of aluminium composite material panels.

She added that the buildings "still represented a serious fire risk" following refurbishments carried out after guidance was issued in response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Sir Ken Knight, chair of the Independent Expert Advisory Panel, said that if this was the case it would cause him "real concern" given the advice of the expert panel to building owners.

Clive Betts, chair of the committee, said: "We were extremely shocked to hear today the suggestion that steps being taken to remove dangerous combustible cladding from buildings, far from making tower blocks safer, could be putting residents’ lives at further risk.

"We do not have full details of these building but will be writing urgently to the Government and the Expert Panel to urge them to identify them and take immediate action to address the problem."

Meanwhile, housing minister Dominic Raab was due to appear before the committee in a hearing earlier this week.

He will be questioned about the government’s response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of Building regulations and fire safety.

He will appear after a group of building owners and insurers made up of Mark Norris, principal policy adviser at the Local Government Association; John Stewart, policy manager, Residential Landlords Association; and Huw Evans, director general of the Association of British Insurers.

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