Government consultation on combustible cladding

Although the Hackitt review did not go as far as to recommend a ban on the use of combustible cladding in high rise buildings, the government's preferred approach is to amend the Building Regulations to include an express prohibition on using combustible materials. This would mean any failure to comply with the prohibition would constitute a breach of the Building Regulations, leading to a prosecution in the Magistrates' Court, and the potential for an unlimited fine. The alternative would be to amend the guidance in Approved Document B (guidance on fire safety) to specify the materials that are permitted. The government notes however that, because the guidance in Approved Document B is advisory but not mandatory, this would not achieve the stated policy intention of an outright ban. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has therefore launched a consultation for the industry concerning the scope of any future ban. The consultation can be accessed here and ends on 14 August 2018.