Grenfell Tower: Government review 'won't urge cladding ban'

UK to spend 400m removing Grenfell Tower-style cladding from high-rises

'A series of commitments made by ministers up to and including the prime minister have not been honoured'.

Dame Judith Hackitt, the engineer asked to review building rules by ministers, is instead likely to call for a new system for managing building safety.

But, responding to criticism of her report, she said she was open to seeing combustible cladding banned in the future.

'When Grenfell survivors and anxious residents in other tower blocks should have seen action, they have had to suffer painfully slow progress and broken promises.

Residents and campaign groups had called for a ban on combustible materials being used in construction.

New building regulations will be but in place in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, with details released in the Government's official report into the devastating blaze, published today.

Shahin Sadafi, chair of Grenfell United, whose family lived at Grenfell, said: "Worrying that a fire like Grenfell could happen again is something that keeps many of us awake at night".

She said: 'As we approach the anniversary of the appalling tragedy that was the Grenfell Tower fire our thoughts are with the victims and survivors and all those affected by that tragedy'.

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, said that despite Hackitt's report the government should nevertheless act without delay to introduce a temporary ban on the use of combustible materials on complex and high-rise buildings "until we have a regulatory and testing system which is fit for the 21st century".

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Last year, the government offered financial flexibilities to help local authorities with vital fire safety work.

"What I will be disappointed about is if people think simply banning cladding is going to fix this problem".

At Grenfell Tower, which was owned by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the building regulations were checked by RBKC's own building officers while works were already under way.

The issue has far-reaching implications not only for the construction industry but also for social housing landlords and private landlords, as dozens of other high-rise buildings have been found to have cladding that could pose a fire safety risk.

Hackitt said people did not bother to read regulations and when they did, they did not understand them.

She also did not recommend a ban on so-called "desktop studies", assessments that can be used to approve cladding without physical fire safety tests taking place.

But it is understood her report will find building regulations are complex, confusing and not fit for goal, the BBC's home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds said.

The report proposes a new regulator and regulatory framework as well as strengthened enforcement powers and improved rights for residents.

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