Expanded single building assessment program.
Some of the country’s biggest property developers have agreed to work with the Scottish Government and others to resolve the surfacing issues, giving affected homeowners a clear path to ensure their homes are safe.
Under Scotland’s Safer Buildings Agreement, developers will have to fund work on properties they have built to address safety issues identified under the Scottish Government’s Unique Buildings Assessment Scheme. Public funding will be prioritized for buildings that are not tied to an existing developer.
The assessment program, announced last year as a pilot project, will expand to include another 80 buildings, meaning more than 100 total high-rise towers will be part of the program. A new, streamlined process for ordering assessments will help identify at-risk buildings more quickly.
Housing Secretary Shona Robison said:
“This is the next big step towards solving the coating crisis in Scotland. Whilst I know this has been a stressful and frustrating time for the owners affected, it was essential that we took the time to understand this incredibly complex issue. so that we can now begin to resolve it.Let me reassure owners again that we expect the vast majority of buildings to be safe.
“Although the Scottish and Welsh Governments have worked hard to seek a four nation solution to support these owners, we have been disappointed with the UK Government’s only English approach. I see no reason why a promoter who has agreed to finance work in England would refuse to make the same commitment for Scotland.
“We are counting on the UK Government’s subsequent spending on this scheme, and we are committed to spending any consequences received for the coating on assessment, safety and sanitation for owners.
“This is an issue the government cannot solve alone, and I look forward to working collaboratively and at the pace of developers and owners to fix buildings affected by unsafe surfacing.
Chris Ashurst, co-ordinator of action group High Rise Scotland, said:
“The Scottish Safer Buildings Agreement, initiated by the Scottish Government, is welcome news, and such a joint and collaborative approach with developers and industry is the best way to get the right outcome for owners. “
The Scottish Safer Buildings Accord is being developed with Homes for Scotland, a member body for property developers, alongside landlords and other key partner organisations. These groups will work collaboratively to identify solutions for domestic buildings affected by coating issues.
Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said:
“I am pleased to confirm that Homes for Scotland has agreed to work with its members and the Scottish Government to develop an agreement which will include the wider sector over time, reflecting the responsibilities of all parties involved in the design, construction and building inspection. “
Coating Remediation Program Update: Statement from the Secretary to the Cabinet
A single building assessment is a comprehensive inspection of entire blocks of domestic residential buildings – looking at fire safety and mortgage suitability. There is no cost to property owners for these assessments, which identify what needs to be mitigated or corrected on a building-by-building basis, and in accordance with the latest building standards.
Legislation banning combustible cladding on high-rise buildings and the most risky metal composite cladding material of all buildings was passed last month. This is the third round of changes to fire safety standards for surfacing in Scotland since the Grenfell Tower fire. Read more about these changes on the Scottish Government website.
The Unique Building Assessment Scheme is the result of the Departmental Building and Fire Safety Task Force, set up by the Scottish Government the day after the Grenfell Tower fire.