On Tuesday 23rd January 2024 our Senior Associate, David Jones, joined representatives across the Scottish housing sector and the local government to provide evidence at a Local Government, Housing and Planning committee meeting.

Chaired by Ariane Burgess MSP, the purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to take evidence from a panel regarding the Housing Cladding Remediation Scotland Bill and whether the bill effectively addresses the main concerns of the Scottish public, property owners and developers.

The Bill is being introduced to reduce the risk to life from unsafe cladding on people’s homes following the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017, which raised concerns around the safety of medium and high-rise buildings with external wall cladding across the UK. The Cladding Remediation Programme was established in 2021 to identify, assess and address the fire safety risks in multi-residential domestic buildings 11 metres and over in height and incorporating a form of external wall cladding system. It gives powers to Scottish Ministers to assess and remediate buildings with unsafe cladding. The Bill requires Scottish Ministers to record these assessments and any actions needed to fix problems identified.

David was invited to join the committee in his role as Senior Associate of Taylor & Martin and as a representative of Queensborough Owners and Residents Association. He joined key witnesses such as Chris Ashurst, Group Co-ordinator, High Rise Scotland Action Group and Sean Clerkin, Representative, Scottish Tenants Organisation as well as representatives from developers such as Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes.

“I was extremely honoured to be able to represent Scottish property factors and the Queensborough Owners and Residents Association and provide key evidence at this point in the Bill’s process. At Taylor & Martin, we believe it is extremely important to address the points raised during the meeting ensuring that all voices are heard from all perspectives and to ensure that properties are safe, and homeowners feel protected.”

Footage contains information licensed under the Scottish Parliament Copyright Licence.

As the property factor for many buildings and developments affected by the Bill, David spoke on behalf of Taylor & Martin clients and raised a number of questions such as; the coverage of the Bill and whether this would consider building gas audit reports/remedial works required, is there a standard reporting format which includes cladding and infill details for insurance purposes, how do we ensure the surveyors reports are correct and has a mapping program been created of timescales for all buildings to be surveyed and remedials undertaken.

The committee also heard from concerns from current homeowners of affected properties and the level of engagement they have experienced from the Government regarding the Bill. Whilst the Bill has brought about much needed improvements, there is still more work required for homeowners to fully back the Bill.

Over the course of the day, many points were discussed, from the lack of progress from the Scottish government assessing these buildings, the scope of the assessments, the amount of resource assigned to carry out the assessments and how much of the overall £400million budget publicly committed by Scottish Ministers has been spent to date.

Watch the full public meeting below or visit: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/local-government-housing-and-planning-committee-january-23-2024

Footage contains information licensed under the Scottish Parliament Copyright Licence.