Government to ban combustible cladding on new buildings over 18m

3 October 2018

News that the government wants to ban combustible cladding on buildings over 18m has led the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) to issue a warning that cladding at lower height levels may also be affected.

At the Conservative Party conference, housing secretary James Brokenshire announced the intention to ban combustible cladding for all new schools, hospitals, care homes, student accommodation and residential buildings in England above 18m.  

The ban is not retrospective and is to be implemented through changes to building regulations to be brought forward in late autumn.

The TTF said the move would solve nothing without enforcement.

“The materials used in Grenfell did not pass the current regulations, yet were still used,” said TTF MD David Hopkins.

“Introducing tougher regulations, such as a ban, will only work if these regulations are enforced.

“Our bigger worry is that the rhetoric from this approach effectively bans the use of timber at lower levels and on buildings below 18 metres.”

The new ban is still subject to further consultation, so there is no immediate change.

The TTF is working with all industry partners across the supply chain – WPA, BWF, STA and TRADA – on a range of projects to help inform this debate, including a public affairs campaign to ensure the industry’s voice is heard in this debate.