The lack of detail in Michael Gove’s proposal to make developers pay for unsafe cladding is instructive (Report, 10 January). His statements beg far more questions than answers. How will unsafe cladding be defined and who will have that responsibility? If insulation is a primary concern, to what insulation standards will new cladding need to be installed and who will monitor the quality of the remedial work? How will “developer” be defined, and why pick on developers? Assuming it is possible to define the problem with precision, there will be a natural instinct to share the blame: the builder? Product suppliers? Subcontractors? Client? Building regulations? The government?
The Grenfell Tower inquiry is into its fifth year without any specific conclusions about responsibility or blame for the disaster. Gove’s announcement is a recipe for further confusion, bankruptcy and endless litigation. A more sensible route would be a risk assessment on a building-by-building basis.
Director, Studio 54 Architecture