The government has said it will consult on banning combustible cladding and insulation on residential tower blocks after the post-Grenfell Hackitt review stopped short of calling for a ban.
Housing minister James Brokenshire revealed plans for the consultation in parliament today after a huge backlash against Dame Judith Hackitt’s report for failing to recommend a ban on combustible cladding.
Mr Brokenshire said: “Let me be clear: the cladding believed to be on Grenfell Tower was unlawful under existing Building Regulations. It should not have been used.
“I will ensure that there is no room for doubt over what materials can be used safely in cladding of high-rise residential buildings.
“Having listened carefully to concerns, the government will consult on banning the use of combustible materials in cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings.”
There was widespread criticism of Dame Hackitt’s decision not to recommend a ban on combustible cladding, with Labour MP David Lammy labelling the report “a betrayal and a whitewash”.
Labour’s shadow housing secretary John Healey also criticised the report as a “missed opportunity”. And on Brokenshire’s intervention he was still critical. “Don’t consult on it (a cladding ban). Do it,” he told the House of Commons.
The cladding on Grenfell Tower came under scrutiny due to the speed that the fire spread, which led to the death of 71 people.
The government is already consulting on whether to ban desktop studies for signing off cladding systems, with the consultation due to close this week.
More on the Hackitt report