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Julie James, Minister for Climate Change

First published:
21 July 2022
Last updated:

In my statement to Plenary on 28 June, I confirmed I had written to all developers in Wales inviting them to a meeting to discuss their plans and timetables to repair fire safety issues in the buildings they helped to build.

The invitation was extended to 47 developers in the first instance, including those which have committed to the UK Government’s building safety pledge. Forty-two replied and 28 confirmed they do not have any medium or high-rise buildings in Wales; we are awaiting confirmation this is the case from one more developer.

I held a roundtable meeting on 11 July with the remaining 13 developers. All have confirmed their intention to sign the Welsh Government’s Developer’s Pact, which commits them to remediate buildings they have developed 11 metres and over in height, which have identified fire safety issues.

The pact has been shared with the developers. The details of the developers which are signing the pact will be published on our website.

My officials will have follow-up meetings with each of the developers on a one-to-one basis to undertake detailed discussions about the formal contractual commitments and a timescale for the work to be undertaken. 

I am clear that developers should take responsibility for the remediation works but officials will hold regular assurance meetings to ensure they are delivering on their contractual obligations.

I have made it clear that I do not expect leaseholders to bear the cost of repairing fire safety issues that are not of their making and that I expect developers to step up to their responsibilities. I want to commend all the developers who have made the commitment to do this.

Five developers have yet to provide me with the assurances I require that either they do not have any medium or high-rise developments in Wales or, if they do, they are prepared to meet their responsibilities in respect of these developments.

The five developers yet to reply are: Laing O’Rourke, Westmark, Robertson, London Square, Weston Homes and Kier (now Tilia). 

I am today publicly calling on these developers to respond to my letter and to meet me to provide leaseholders in Wales – and me – with the assurances we require. 

For those not willing to work with the Welsh Government to rectify fire safety issues in their buildings, I am prepared to use all levers at my disposal to ensure that developers are brought to the table and that they commit to the remediation of their buildings where fire safety issues have been identified, or that they face consequences.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.