Profit can no longer be prioritised over quality and safety, says CIOB

Lessons need to be learned from the Grenfell Tower tragedy and safety and quality put first, says the Chartered Institute of Building.

The CIOB has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by housing minister Michael Gove that developers be required to commit to remediating unsafe buildings.

Gove has given developers until 13 March to sign up to a developer remediation contract to fix cladding and other fire risks in high rises they have built.

This will be enforced by a responsible actors scheme that will effectively freeze out from the market those that have not signed up. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities wrote to developers yesterday outlining the plans.

CIOB director of policy, external affairs and research, Eddie Tuttle, said the announcement, “echoes the findings by Dame Judith Hackitt in her independent review of building regulations and fire safety, is one that we very much welcome”.

Tuttle added: “The Grenfell Tower fire and the subsequent public inquiry highlighted the consequences of deregulation and paved the way for the Building Safety Act. But it also revealed the extent to which profit was being prioritised over building quality and safety.

“The CIOB is committed to ensuring our industry learns the lessons of the past and works to ensure those who occupy the buildings we create are safe and feel safe in their homes.”

Housebuilder commitment

When the announcement was made Persimmon said it intended to be the first to sign up to the contract. Barratt has since said it will “be carefully considering the detail” with a view to signing it over the next few weeks.

A Barratt spokesperson said: “We have also always been clear that we do not believe leaseholders should pay for necessary remediation of their homes. We have been working to remediate historic developments for some years now and last spring we were one of the first companies to sign the industry pledge.”

The Home Builders Federation has been negotiating the contract with the Government. It welcomed the new contract but warned that the burden could not all be put on UK businesses.

A spokesperson said: “UK house builders accept they have a major part to play in delivering solutions for leaseholders, have committed to carry out building safety work on all their own buildings and are paying £2.5bn to fix those built by foreign companies and other parties.

Pressure on UK businesses

"After months of negotiations, the contract better reflects the principles of the pledge, but alongside the onerous taxes introduced by government puts a huge pressure on UK businesses.

"Government now needs to deliver on its commitment to get contributions from the numerous other parties involved in this crisis including foreign builders and providers of the cladding at the heart of this crisis and not to repeatedly take the easy option to target UK companies.

"In the current economic climate, repeatedly targeting UK businesses will cut housing supply, damage investment and threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs. Ministers must be now brave and take on big, overseas firms.”

Labour’s shadow levelling up, housing and communities secretary, Lisa Nandy, said improving safety was the “right” move but added: ”The secretary of state has claimed he’s being tough on this before. It has been one year since he last made this demand on developers.

“Five years after the Grenfell tragedy only seven per cent of flats at fire risk have been fixed, and millions are still left with unsellable properties and eye-watering bills.”

Story for CM? Get in touch via email: [email protected]


  1. No, it shouldn’t be, but it always will be…. unless of course, you want to pay the taxpayer back 10% of the value of our economy of course.

    Unfortunately people come second in everything these days, and so long as the top 1% continue to own 99% of everything, it will always be that way.

Comments are closed.

Latest articles in News