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Bellway residents avoid £2m Poplar re-cladding costs

Bellway has written to residents at its New Festival Quarter scheme in Poplar to say it will not pass on the £2m costs of replacing ACM cladding.

The housebuilder said it would work with its development partner Peabody to ensure cladding was replaced and that the costs, estimated at up to £2m, would not fall on residents.

Residents at the 502-home development had previously said they had been kept in the dark over when works would take place and who would pay, after it was determined the cladding needed to be replaced following inspections last year.

Occupants said they were facing five-figure bills if the developer or insurance provider NHBC did not step in to cover the costs of remediation work.

In a letter sent to residents and seen by CN, Bellway has now pledged to protect residents from the costs of remediation, becoming only the fifth developer to publicly agree to do so.

The letter said: “Although the buildings were signed off as having met Building Regulations at the time of construction, we recognise there are concerns surrounding cladding following the Grenfell fire and, as a responsible developer, we want our customers to have peace of mind that the cladding will be replaced.

“The development partners, Bellway and Peabody, will be working with the freeholder, Adriatic Land 6 (GR1) Limited and NHBC (provider of the 10-year warranty on your homes) to ensure that no costs associated with the cladding replacement or safety temporary measures will be passed on to residents.”

Bellway has now appointed and paid for designers to start work on the replacement cladding, and will shortly tender for contractors to carry out the work – slated to commence next summer.

Bellway has already paid for the installation of fire alarms and heat detectors across the development in what it called a “gesture of goodwill” so the buildings would meet fire brigade safety requirements.

The NHBC, the warranty provider, has been carrying out a review of the building over the last three months to see if the use of ACM breached Building Regulations and whether they were liable to contribute to the remediation costs.

An NHBC spokeswoman said: “We are awaiting the final report from our expert. In the meantime, Bellway has decided to proceed with the works and NHBC will be contributing towards the costs.”

CN revealed in August that housing association Peabody – Bellway’s development partner on New Festival Quarter – would cover the re-cladding bills for all its residents living in private blocks found to have ACM.

New Festival Quarter is among the 205 private residential blocks found to have dangerous ACM cladding since the Grenfell Tower fire in June last year.

So far only two of these blocks have had the cladding fully removed, with the owners of 86 yet to confirm whether they have remediation plans in place. 

Other developers that have agreed to foot re-cladding bills are Barratt, Legal & General, Mace and Taylor Wimpey.

Housing secretary James Brokenshire warned last month that private developers could be hit with fines or be banned from government contracts if they failed to remove dangerous cladding.

Bellway has been contacted for comment.

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