Long-awaited removal of building safety guidance expected imminently

The government is reportedly set to withdraw its advice about the use of controversial EWS1 building safety forms immediately.

The government said housing secretary Michael Gove will later today “unveil a package of measures to restore common sense to the industry and end the situation of buildings being declared unsafe when they are not.”

According to reports, this will include the long-awaited removal of the government’s consolidated advice note (CAN) recommending the use of EWS1 forms on all buildings. New guidance on the use of the forms is expected within weeks.

The requirement for EWS1 fire safety building information forms has been blamed for widespread difficulties in getting homes valued and mortgaged. The government last summer said the forms should no longer be required on buildings under 18 metres in height and urged lenders to update their practices.

However, many major lenders were reluctant to do so until guidance, including the CAN, was updated.

See also>>How are lenders responding to the EWS1 form annoucnement? 

The government was dealt a blow last month however when the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) refused to change its advice over the use of EWS1 forms, leading to a furious response from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Gove also this morning announced plans to force large housebuilders to contribute towards a £4bn fund to pay for cladding remediation works on blocks between 11m and 18m in height. The housing secretary said he would consider legal action, removal of funding or new legislation if housebuilders do not contribute.