London developer criticised by Gove last month says it ’operates ethically’ and ‘champions integrity’
Galliard Homes has become the latest housebuilder to sign up to the government’s “self-remediation” contract, three weeks after it was named in Parliament as having failed to hit the deadline to do so.
The £204m turnover London-based developer of apartments said it had now signed the contract, and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) confirmed on its website Galliard had moved from the list of developers who have yet to sign the contract to the list of developers who have signed the contract.
The contract is the legal document underpinning the developer pledge signed by 49 housebuilders last year, committing them to repair all life critical fire safety defects on homes they had built of above 11m going back 30 years, at their own expense.
Galliard, which builds almost exclusively high-rise buildings, caused controversy last year by initially not signing the pledge when other housebuilders had done so. Then last month it was named by housing secretary Michael Gove as one of 11 developers that had failed to sign the legal contract prior to the department’s deadline.
Gove has threatened to use new powers brought in under last year’s Building Safety Act to put housebuilders out of business if they are asked by the government to sign up to the self-remediation contract but fail to do so.
A Galliard spokesperson said in a statement that the firm had “always supported the principle that leaseholders should not have to pay for the remediation of life critical fire safety issues in their buildings”.
The spokesperson said: “The group had been in negotiations with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for some weeks with a view to signing the contract.”
The firm added that it had completed a comprehensive scheme of recladding across 11 buildings in 2021 comprising 1,100 homes at its New Capital Quay development in Greenwich, at no cost to leaseholders, and that it had been “actively working to gain EWS1 forms across our sites and to date have gained certification for 29 developments”. It said it had a specialist department carry out the work, and that this work was “ongoing”.
Galliard has faced particular criticism over its response to the building safety scandal since the Grenfell fire, with Gove last month saying the firm was “one of the companies that has been the most recalcitrant throughout”, accusing it of briefing against the department, and saying its business model will be “fundamentally challenged” unless it signed up.
A Galliard spokesperson today said the firm had paid for a new community centre that had been destroyed by the Grenfell fire, and was a “responsible business, [which] operate ethically and champion integrity in all our dealings.” The spokesperson added that it engaged with communities, encouraging employment, education, charity and environmental sustainability “to deliver a positive and enduring impact for all our stakeholders”.
With Galliard’s signature just Abbey Developments, Avant, Dandara, Emerson Group (Jones Homes) and Rydon Homes are yet to sign, with only Rydon so far signalling its intention not to sign the contract.