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Courts quash part of combustible cladding ban

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The High Court has quashed part of combustible cladding ban as the government revealed there were still more than 300 high-rise buildings in the UK with aluminium composite cladding

In November 2018 the building regulations were amended to ban combustible materials in or on external walls of domestic buildings over 18m tall.

But, according to a document published by the housing ministry last week, part of the ban has been overhauled following a legal wrangle.

On 27 November the High Court ruled that the ban should not have included shutters, blinds and other products designed to reduce a building’s heat gain.

The court case was brought by the British Blind & Shutter Association, which argued that it was not properly consulted before the ban. 

The effect of the court’s decision is that the part of the regulations concerning ‘device[s] for reducing heat gain within a building by deflecting sunlight’ is now effectively cancelled out.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government said: ‘This judgment relates to a very specific and small list of products and it is still our position that no developer should consider putting such products on a tall building.’

Details of the case have emerged as the government published the latest figures on the amount of residential and other domestic buildings which still have aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding systems similar to that used on Grenfell Tower.

At the end of November, almost 30 months after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, 319 high-rise buildings had ACM cladding systems which were unlikely to meet building regulations but had yet to be remediated.

Of these, 175 were residential buildings in the private sector, while a further 93 were social-sector residential buildings.

The remaining buildings are student accommodation, hospitals and other publicly owned buildings.

Just 27 of the outstanding private sector building with ACM cladding have had remediation work start, while there are plans to remediate another 74. A further 74 are in the process of having a remediation plan ‘developed’.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Industry Professional

    Providing this change only relates to individual elements that are not remotely continuous on a façade, then I suspect it may not be such a big issue. I will be interested to see if anyone who is informed than I can comment further on this. Jeffrey (an Engineer and not an Architect - commented via the IHS).

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  • Industry Professional

    I should have said "more informed than I". I must learn to type!

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  • This surely will need dealing with, it means you could theoretically put strips of timber to form a brise soleil to shade windows at every level of a high rise, clearly defeating the primary objective of the ban.

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