Building safety in London

The Mayor is determined to do everything he can to improve the safety of Londoners and the buildings they live in. 

The Mayor does not have a statutory role in setting or reforming the Building Regulations and the Greater London Authority (GLA) does not have responsibility for Building Control. His powers are limited to administering affordable housing funding and setting planning policy through the London Plan.

Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Mayor has done everything he can to improve the safety of buildings by using his powers directly or lobbying the Government for change. 

The London Fire Brigade is the fire and rescue authority for London. As a functional body of the GLA Group, the Mayor sets its budget and approves the London Safety Plan.

The London Fire Brigade works to prevent fires from taking place. Fire safety advice, campaigns, and responses to Government consultations can be found on its website. 

After the Grenfell Tower fire, the Government set up the Building Safety Programme. Further information from the Government can be found below:

Building Safety and the Mayor

The responsibility to ensure homes are safe lies with Building Regulations that are set nationally. The Government is in the process of reforming the Building Regulations and the processes around how homes are built and managed safely. The Mayor is actively engaged in shaping these proposals. See past responses to consultations and correspondence.

The draft London Plan

Although the responsibility to ensure homes are safe lies with national Building Regulations, the Mayor has used his planning powers to go further.

For the first time, the draft London Plan requires all development proposals to achieve the highest standards of fire safety to ensure the safety of all building residents and users. The draft London Plan also introduces policy requirements for developments to be designed to incorporate fire evacuation lifts suitable for people who require level access, including those with disabilities and the elderly.

The Social Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund

In May 2018, the Government announced £400 million to remove and replace unsafe ACM cladding systems on high-rise tower blocks in England owned by social landlords. The prospectus sets out the scope and eligibility criteria for the fund.

All decisions regarding the scope and design of the fund, and approvals of applications, are carried out by the Government. The GLA is administering the Social Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund on behalf of the Government for buildings in London. The Mayor has called for the Fund to be extended to cover all types of unsafe cladding and interim safety measures. 

The Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund

In May 2019, the Government announced £200 million to remove and replace unsafe ACM cladding systems on high-rise private sector residential buildings in England. The prospectus sets out the scope and eligibility criteria for the fund. 

All decisions regarding the scope and design of the fund and approvals of applications are carried out by the Government. The GLA is administering the Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund on the Government’s behalf for buildings in London. The Mayor has called for the Fund to be extended to cover all types of unsafe cladding and interim safety measures. 

Applications to the Fund for affected private buildings in London should be submitted via the GLA-OPS portal, where you can also find guidance on how to complete an application. Enquiries about the Fund should be emailed to [email protected].

Grant payments for this Fund will need to comply with State Aid regulations. The Government has issued guidance on state aid processes for applicants and leaseholders, setting out the requirement for leaseholders in blocks applying for funding to submit completed State Aid declarations. The GLA will collect and process this data. The GLA is acting under the instruction of MHCLG, as the data controller, and will abide by MHCLG’s privacy notice.

Fire safety on GLA land

You can read more information about a small number of buildings with unsafe ACM cladding on land whose freehold is owned by the GLA Group.

The London Development Panel (LDP2) is a framework of contractors and developers that the GLA, and other public landowners, use to select builders to develop new homes on public land. The Mayor is taking steps to ensure future buildings which he commissions via LDP2 are of the highest standards of fire safety. He has included new requirements in terms of sprinklers, the combustibility of external wall systems, and the registration of white good products. He has produced guidance for other landowners encouraging them to do the same.

Residents – where to get help

Residents who are concerned about fire safety in their building should contact their landlord or managing agent in the first instance. 

For fire safety advice in the home, London Fire Brigade provides free home fire safety visits, where personalised fire safety advice is given and smoke alarms fitted, if needed. You can book a visit now.

Leaseholders can access free, independent advice regarding fire safety by visiting Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)’s fire safety website or scheduling a telephone appointment with them. The Government’s building safety page for leaseholders includes other advice services that leaseholders might want to consult. 

Social housing tenants can complain to the Housing Ombudsman once their landlord’s internal complaints procedures have been exhausted. In order to access the Ombudsman, residents must first raise a complaint with their MP, local councillor, or a tenant panel who can then refer it to the Ombudsman.

Private rented sector (PRS) tenants who believe their property is being let in an unsafe condition can use the Mayor of London’s ‘Report a rogue landlord or agent’ tool to refer their concerns to their local authority. 

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