Developer behind Elephant & Castle regeneration scheme has set aside £114m for fire safety works
Developer Lendlease has signed the government’s cladding contract, saying it had “always maintained” leaseholders should not be liable for remediation costs.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities confirmed this morning the Australian-based firm had legally committed to fixing tower block safety defects, after missing last Monday’s deadline.
The signing comes after housing secretary Michael Gove read out the names of 11 developers that had not signed the contract on Tuesday last week and effectively threatened to put them out of business.
In a statement the company said: “As a responsible global developer and investor we’ve always maintained that leaseholders shouldn’t be held liable for remediation costs and advocated for an industry wide solution encompassing all of the supply chain.
“Our board met this week and confirmed the company has signed up to the UK government’s developer remediation contract.”
The contract requires developers to resolve building safety issues on blocks where they have had any involvement, through building or refurbishing, in the last 30 years.
Lendlease said it believed “the best approach is an industry wide one where all parties who played a part in developing affected buildings play a part in resolving them; and it’s our understanding that the government intends to pursue other parties in the supply chain”.
Lendlease pointed out it had recently announced it would set aside £114m to pay for remediation of affected blocks, most of which it had inherited from its purchase of Crosby Homes in the summer of 2005 from the Berkeley Group. It added it had not developed many of the buildings relevant to the contract, had not had any specific claims to date and possessed “only limited information relating to the buildings in the Crosby portfolio”. But the statement explained the firm had set up a dedicated team to work with building owners to assess and resolve safety defects.
Lendlease joins with Telford Homes, London Square, and Ango-Irish housebuilder Ballymore in signing the contract since being named by Gove as having failed to do so. Lendlease’s signature brings the total number of firms still to sign the contract to seven, with only Rydon so far having stated it does not intend to. The Emerson Group yesterday expressed an intent to sign it “imminently”.
The DLUHC confirmed at 10:18am today it had “transferred Lendlease Europe Holdings Limited from the list of developers who have yet to sign the contract to the list of developers who have signed the contract”. Lendlease says it has a £25.2bn UK pipeline to provide nearly 30,000 new homes.
Remaining developers who were asked to sign contract but have yet to do so:
- Abbey Developments
- Emerson Group (Jones Homes)
- Galliard Homes
- Inland Homes
- Rydon Homes