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Housing Developers At Risk Of Market Ban After Not Signing Building Safety Contract

Michael Gove (Alamy)

3 min read

Eleven housing developers face a ban from constructing new buildings in England, having failed so far to sign the contract committing them to remediating safety issues.

Businesses who have not committed to the Building Safety Contract now face being “not able to commence new developments in England or receive building control approval for work that is already underway,” Housing Secretary Michael Gove told the House of Commons on Tuesday.

In January, house-building companies were given six weeks to sign a legally binding agreement that will commit them to funding repairs to unsafe buildings in England that they have developed or refurbished over the last 30 years.The legal commitment solidifies a pledge made last year by 49 developers to remediate critical safety works.

According to figures released on by government, 39 developers had signed the contract by the deadline of 14 March.

Four companies who signed last year’s pledge were “subsequently found not to have developed buildings which are within its scope” and are therefore not required to sign for now. 

Eleven developers have not signed the contract. Gove confirmed that “while the overwhelming majority of major developers have signed, some, regrettably, have not".

He added: “Those companies will be out of the house-building business in England entirely unless and until they change their course.” 

When the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) launched the contract on 30 January, it was stated that legislation planned for this Spring will create a Responsible Actors Scheme. Gove said that “key features” of the scheme will be published next week and will be “a means of ensuring that only those committed to building safety will be allowed to build in the future”. 

He also thanked developers who have signed for helping to “right the wrongs of the past”, as well as for their “hard work and cooperation” with the work. 

Last week, PoliticsHome reported that some firms were still waiting for final signature-ready copies of the contract with just days to go until the deadline. 

On Wednesday one developer who had not yet returned their contract told PoliticsHome that they were still finalising details, but did intend to sign.

Shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy accused Gove of an “increasingly dysfunctional approach”. 

“Last week, the Secretary of State was on social media threatening major house builders with a nationwide ban if they failed to sign up to the contracts within a matter of days," she told MPs today.

“He's 100 per cent right to say that developers should pay, but it does undermine his case when his own department hadn't even managed to send the contract to them.” 

 

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