Industry reacts to ‘unfair’ remediation levy

Credit: AdobeStock/ink drop
Credit: AdobeStock/ink drop

SME housebuilders claim the government forcing all developers to pay £2 billion to fix unsafe properties is unfair.

This is in response to Housing secretary Michael Gove giving developers just six-weeks to sign up to remediate unsafe homes which are 11m or above built over the last 30 year or face ‘significant consequences’.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) is now lobbying for exemptions to the forthcoming building safety levy to exclude developers building less than 40 homes. It also wants the government to consult with other parties such as material manufacturers, building control professionals and architects before the levy goes live.

The trade body also believes the levy is excessive given the introduction of the residential property developer tax in April charging 4% from developers with profits of more than £25m.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, commented: “This announcement is a case of ‘Hobson’s choice’, as it tells innocent builders to sign a contract with the government, or they can stop them operating. It’s policy by optics, not serious governance.

“The fair and proportionate solution is simple, adopt a polluter pays principle which says, if you’ve done wrong, you will pay to fix your mistake.”

Furthermore, the Home Builders Federation has called on the government to honour its promise to ask foreign builders and cladding providers to pay for repairs too.

According to Housing Today, the government has tightened the scope of the contract to concentrate on ‘life-critical building safety improvements’. Liabilities on joint venture projects with social housing providers are to be limited as well as with third parties. The government’s right to revisit and change the contract in the future is also to be restricted.

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