Just one week after the five year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood led a Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons highlighting the ongoing financial impacts of building safety remediation on leaseholders.
During the debate, Ms Mahmood made specific mention of the Islington Gates development in her constituency – which has faced significant delays in building safety funding and received no funding from developers.
Costing a total of £9 million, residents were paying for some of the works to keep themselves safe, but they cannot afford to pay the outstanding bill and the building’s original developer has been liquidated.
Galliford Try bought the originial builder, Miller Construction in 2014 but has so far refused to engage with leaseholders.
The Minister for Housing, Stuart Andrew MP admitted that the Government recognise “that the situation is unjust and unfair for leaseholders living in Islington Gates.”
He reaffirmed that the Government expects developers to take responsibility for the buildings that they have developed, covering any building developed by any company within their corporate group, including complex cases where they acquired the original developer of the building.
The Minister suggested that Islington Gates might be an early test case for the aspects of the Building Safety Act – such as the new Recovery Unit and Remediation Orders – designed to force developers into doing the right thing.
He went on to commit to take a personal interest in Islington Gates case and to working with Ms Mahmood and affected leaseholders.
Commenting after the debate, Shabana Mahmood MP said:
“I welcome the cooperative tone from the Minister and his willing to work with me and leaseholders on this important issue.
“I hope his acknowledgement that the situation at Islington Gates is unjust was heard not just by the affected leaseholders but also by Galliford Try and other developers that are shying away from their responsibilities.
“But we need the Government to take action now, not only on the construction industry but on insurance companies which continue to charge disproportionate and sky-high premiums.
“I will continue to work with the Government and hold them to account to ensure that no leaseholder faces costs they can’t afford, to fix a problem they didn’t cause.”
Notes to Editors
- Shabana led a Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday 22 June 2022. Watch here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/9c1c3549-e109-4760-89a5-d54218c71b52?in=16:00:45 Click here for the transcript: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2022-06-22/debates/F45D492E-BC18-47FB-9F0F-52C7D1F5A414/BuildingSafetyRemediationLeaseholders