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Government to reform sprinkler requirements

The government will lower the height threshold where sprinklers are required in blocks to 11 metres, down from 30.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick will hold a roundtable with mortgage lenders to agree an approach to mortgage valuations for properties in buildings under 18 metres tall, which it said would provide certainty for owners affected by vital building safety work.

Jenrick said: “The government is bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation.

“Today we have made a major step towards this by publishing our response to the Building a Safer Future consultation.

“This new regime will put residents’ safety at its heart, and follows the announcement of the unprecedented £1bn fund for removing unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings in the Budget.

“Today we are also announcing that the housing industry is designing a website so lenders and leaseholders can access the information needed to proceed with sales and re-mortgaging, and the government stands ready to help to ensure this work is completed at pace.

“Building safety is a priority and the government is supporting industry in ensuring homes are safe at this difficult time.”

Independent construction expert David Hancock has been appointed to review the progress of unsafe ACM claddings from buildings.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “Public safety is paramount, and we’re pleased the government is introducing changes to ensure residents are kept safe.

“The introduction of a website will allow lenders and leaseholders to access information in a timely manner, enable transactions to go through quicker, and help those who have been left unable to sell or remortgage their property to do so.

“Ultimately, these changes will help the housing market get back on its feet once we’ve moved through this period of uncertainty.”