Failure to sign contract committing it to fire safety repairs would have put it at risk of sanctions under Responsible Actors Scheme

Anglo-Irish housebuilder Abbey Developments has finally signed the government’s developer remediation contract committing it to fix fire-safety issues in historic buildings, having been the last firm holding out against the scheme.

The £175m turnover housebuilder signed the government’s developer contract yesterday, according to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, meaning it has legally guaranteed to fix all life-critical defects on homes going back 30 years.

An Abbey development in Sittingbourne

Source: Abbey PLC

An Abbey development in Sittingbourne

The 500 homes-a-year business, which is owned by the Gallagher family since being bought outright in 2021, was one of 11 developers named by housing secretary Michael Gove in Parliament in March as having failed to sign up to the scheme, since when all but Rydon and – until now – Abbey had subsequently signed up.

Failure to sign the contract would have put Abbey in breach of the government’s new Responsible Actors Scheme, set up in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, which gives councils powers to prevent developers from carrying out planning permissions or receiving building regulations consents. 

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Abbey has not previously explained its delay in signing the contract, with Rydon Homes – an SME housebuilder which is a sister company of Grenfell contractor Rydon Maintenance – previously having been the only firm to vocally oppose the signing of the contract, on the grounds it was being singled out as the only small company targeted. However, even Rydon Homes has now signed the contract.

Dandara was the most recent firm to sign. The government has previously said it intends to approach smaller firms once it has all the largest companies signed up to the contract. The HBF estimates that financial commitments of more than £2bn have already been made.

The government has said that 51 firms have now signed the developer remediation contract, with 37 firms now signed up members of the Responsible Actors Scheme.

Abbey has been approached for comment.

Housebuilders to have signed the developer remediation contract:

1. Abbey Developments Limited
2. Allison Homes Group Limited
3. Ballymore Limited
4. Barratt Developments PLC
5. Bellway PLC
6. Bewley Group Limited
7. Bloor Investments Limited
8. Broadthorpe Limited (parent company for William Davis Homes)
9. Cala Group (Holdings) Limited
10. Canary Wharf Group PLC
11. C.G. Fry and Son Limited
12. Churchill Retirement PLC
13. Crest Nicholson Holdings PLC
14. Croudace Homes Group Limited
15. Dandara Living Holdings Limited
16. Emerson Developments (Holdings) Limited (parent company for Jones Homes)
17. Fairview Holdings Limited
18. Frasers Property (UK) Ltd
19. Galliard Group Limited
20. Grosvenor Group Limited
21. Hill Holdings Limited
22. Hopkins Home Group Limited
23. Inland Homes PLC
24. Jelson Holdings Limited
25. Keepmoat Limited
26. Land Securities Group PLC
27. Lendlease Europe Holdings Limited
28. Lifestory Holdings Limited (also covers Anthology Group)
29. London Square Development (Holdings) Limited
30. McCarthy & Stone Limited
31. Miller Homes Limited
32. MJ Gleeson PLC
33. Morgan Sindall Group PLC (parent company for Lovell and Muse)
34. Morris Homes Group Limited
35. Persimmon Public Limited Company
36. Redrow PLC
37. Regal Holdco Limited (parent company for Regal London)
38. Rowland Group Limited
39. Rydon Group Holdings Limited
40. Sorbon Group Limited (parent company for Shanly Homes)
41. St Modwen Group Holdings Company Limited
42. Story Homes Limited
43. Strata Homes Group Limited
44. Taylor Wimpey PLC
45. Telford Homes Limited
46. The Berkeley Group Holdings PLC
47. The British Land Company PLC
48. Tilia Homes Limited
49. Vistry Group PLC
50. Viva Midco Limited (parent company for Avant Homes)
51. Weston Group PLC