Persimmon commits £75m to address cladding safety issues
Housebuilder Persimmon has made a provision of £75 million to address cladding safety issues on 26 buildings in its legacy development portfolio.
Following a review of past projects, the company has identified nine high-rise buildings over 18 metres built by the group where, in line with government guidance, cladding may need to be removed.
While Persimmon does not own any of these buildings and the legal responsibility, and duty to ensure the building is safe rests with the current owners, the firm said it will provide technical support to ensure the building is made safe.
A further 17 buildings below 18m will also be assessed using a government-required risk-based approach to whether cladding needs to be removed.
Persimmon will lead this work on buildings that it owns and will support the owners and other parties in their efforts to ensure the buildings are safe for residents on those it doesn’t own.
In all cases, Persimmon said it stands ready to provide the support necessary to make sure the work is done should a building owner fail to step up and accept their responsibilities.
The group is in the process of writing to building owners, management companies and factors to inform them of the findings of its review and to agree next steps. No public announcement of the buildings in question will be made beforehand.
Roger Devlin, chairman of Persimmon, it is the group’s intention to progress matters as swiftly as possible, minimising uncertainty and concern for residents.
He added: “The concern around now banned cladding is affecting many thousands of homeowners who live in high-rise buildings right across the country.
“At Persimmon we believe we have a clear duty to act to address this issue. So today we are setting aside £75m towards any necessary cladding remediation and safety work in 26 developments we built. Where we still own the building we will act. Where we no longer own them we will work with the owners to make sure they meet their legal responsibilities and duty. If the owner does not step up then we will act to remove uncertainty and anxiety for residents and make the buildings safe.
“This is a decision which we believe is not only right for residents but also the right thing for us to do as one of the leading housebuilders in the UK. We want Persimmon to be a business with a long-term, responsible and sustainable future and hope our actions today demonstrate a clear commitment to these values.”