Persimmon sets aside £75mln for cladding safety work

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Persimmon PLC (LON:PSN) is to set aside £75mln to rectify safety issues related to cladding on apartments blocks it has built but will not pay for its complete removal.

Cladding has been a huge controversy ever since the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster with the government due to make a statement on extra funding later today.

A £1.6bn fund to cover the removal of dangerous coverings from apartment blocks was set up last year, but MPs believe this to be only a tenth of the likely cost.

In a statement, Persimmon said it was not a major developer of high-rise buildings and accounts for less than one per cent of all Britain’s high-rise developments.

All its buildings met the fire safety rules and regulations in place at the time of development, it said, but added that cladding materials which may now be considered unsafe and require removal were used.

Persimmon will make the £75mln provision in its 2020 results to cover its contribution to any necessary work on 26 buildings that may be affected by the cladding issue, said the statement.

Nine of these are over 18 metres high and in-line with government guidance cladding may need to be removed, it said.

Persimmon does not own any of these buildings and the legal responsibility and duty to ensure the building is safe still rests with the current owners, it added.

The builder said it will provide technical support to ensure the building is made safe and the necessary support to make sure the work is done. 

For the remaining 17 buildings below 18 metres more detailed investigation is required.

Where Persimmon owns the building it will lead this work but added that where it no longer owns the building, it will support the owners and other parties in their efforts to ensure the buildings are safe for residents. 

Roger Devlin, chairman, said: “At Persimmon we believe we have a clear duty to act to address this issue.

“So today we are setting aside £75mln towards any necessary cladding remediation and safety work in 26 developments we built.

Where we still own the building we will act. Where we no longer own them we will work with the owners to make sure they meet their legal responsibilities and duty.

“If the owner does not step up then we will act to remove uncertainty and anxiety for residents and make the buildings safe. 

Barratt Developments PLC (LON:BDEV) last week said it was setting aside a further £63.4mln to cover costs of rectifying unsafe cladding on its developments to take its total provisions to just under £82mln.

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