Taylor Wimpey is to pay for fire safety improvement works at all its sites built over the past 20 years “irrespective of height or whether we retain a legal interest”.
Full letter here
Taylor Wimpey says “it has long been our view that customers and leaseholders should not bear the cost of investment to ensure that theur buildings are safe and mortgageable”.
The plc housebuilder assures Sir Peter Bottomley today:
“The scheme we have established means that Taylor Wimpey will fund and directly oversee the works in apartment buildings that are currently in our ownership, regardless of current eligibility for the UK Government Building Safety Fund.
“In those cases where Taylor Wimpey no longer owns the building, and it is not eligible for either the Building Safety Fund or similar future support schemes, where a freeholder produces a fair and proportionate plan for fire safety works following EWS1 assessment we will contribute funding to bring those buildings up to the standards required by current RICS EWS1 guidance.
“Whilst the legal responsibility continues to rest with the building owner, we will also provide advice and other assistance where appropriate.”
Taylor Wimpey claims it made this decision in March 2021, but it has written to Sir Peter in response to his early day motion (EDM 852)
That this House notes that Arconic’s Reynobond, Kingspan’s K15 Kooltherm and Saint-Gobain Celotex foam insulation products have been found to be highly flammable and dangerously combustible; notes the statement by the Association of Residential Managing Agents that nearly £50,000 may be the average cost of remediating building safety defects including flammable cladding or insulation; understands the reason for the revocation of Kingspan’s proposed sponsorship of Mercedes Formula One team; recognises the responsibilities and opportunities and interest of shareholders in companies to influence the boards of builders and component suppliers; notes Norges Bank Investment Management has been a major shareholder in Saint-Gobain, Kingspan and Arconic, together with builders including Barratt, Bellway, Berkeley, Crest Nicholson, LendLease, Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Vistry; and asks Norges Bank to require responsible firms to resolve buildings’ fire safety defects, compensate victims and to divest holdings in firms that fail to do so, as asked by the UK Cladding Action Group, End Our Cladding Scandal, Grenfell United, Action for Fire Safety Justice, the National Leasehold Campaign and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.
Taylor Wimpey has past form wriggling out of grand sounding declarations.
It said it put aside £130 million to sort the doubling ground rents it had sold to its cheated customers. In fact, they had to contact the company to sign up. Nor would Taylor Wimpey put right these toxic leases that it had introduced into the property market if they had been resold.
Worse, only 5,400 ex-customers signed up to Taylor Wimpey’s scheme, rather than the 10,500 who had actually bought properties with doubling ground rents.
The Competition and Markets Authority intervened and obtained a far more equitable result in December 2021 – four and a half years after Taylor Wimpey’s own inadequate efforts.