Government to consider banning flammable cladding in wake of Grenfell fire

Grenfell disaster probe 'finds race to the bottom' in buildings safety practices

Cladding on hundreds of tower blocks across England which was tested in the aftermath of the fire failed safety tests.

She said she was "shocked" by some of the practices she had seen and a "cultural change" was needed.

Theresa May confirmed the unsafe materials would be removed during Prime Minister's Questions earlier today.

Responding to criticism, Hackitt rejected claims that an outright ban on cladding would solve all the problems.

A review of building regulations set up after the Grenfell tragedy will not propose an outright ban on flammable cladding, the BBC understands.

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Architects, building firms and Grenfell survivors had backed a ban on using combustible materials in construction.

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".

Speaking in the House of Commons just hours after the report's publication, Mr Brokenshire said: "We are consulting on significantly restricting or banning the use of desk-top studies to assess cladding systems".

The report says a new Joint Competent Authority (JCA) made up of Local Authority Building Standards, fire and rescue authorities and the Health and Safety Executive will oversee better management of safety risks in these buildings (through safety cases) across their entire life cycle. It will be independent of the building owner and it will approve designs before construction begins.

"We have to get to a position where people putting lives at risk by what they're doing gets picked up at the time and there's sanctions applied there and then, not in the aftermath of a awful tragedy like Grenfell".

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"What I will be disappointed about is if people think simply banning cladding is going to fix this problem. The cladding on the Grenfell Tower was deemed to be limited combustibility.it must be banned".

There should also be tougher penalties for failures; Hackitt found rates of enforcement action against breaches of building regulations had fallen 75% in the last decade.

"In Australia, they had a high-rise fire in 2014". She said "it will be important now for industry to show leadership in driving this forward".

However she does NOT recommend a ban on the use of flammable cladding saying it will "not address the root causes" of the issues that led to the tragedy.

"If people feel I haven't gone far enough and for this system to work in the future requires, in addition, that there is further clarity or indeed banning of some of the materials which are now used, I don't have a problem with that", she said.

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

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