The Welsh government has announced it will fund fire safety surveys for multi-occupied buildings over 11 metres to ensure the highest standard of safety for residents.
Minister for climate change Julie James confirmed the surveys will be funded by the Welsh Building Safety Fund and called on the UK government to confirm when further consequential funding will come to Wales.
All buildings over 11m will be eligible to apply with high rise buildings (18m+) prioritised initially.
The surveys will go beyond cladding issues including assessing internal issues such as ineffective compartmentation.
James said: “What we do not yet know is exactly how many buildings are affected and to what extent.
“It is critically important that we are able to understand the true scale of the problem in order to properly address it.
“Every building is different and the fire safety surveys will identify what measures and actions are required to make a multi-residential building as safe as it can be and protect lives and property in the event of a fire.”
The Welsh government insists that steps have already been taken to address these complex challenges, including ensuring all identified buildings in Wales with ACM cladding have been remediated at no additional cost to leaseholders.
It also points out that it made £10.5m available last year to remediate affected buildings in the social sector which saw 12 buildings access this support.
The findings from the surveys will inform the creation of a ‘Fire Safety Building Passport’ which will be developed by those responsible for buildings and will set out what defects have been identified, what remedial action is required and when fire safety measures need to be implemented.
It will also outline how recommended works align with other works required for the building, including planned maintenance and potential decarbonisation measures.
The scheme will be open for applications from responsible persons, building owners and/or management companies this autumn.
The Welsh Building Safety Fund is being developed in tandem with legislative plans to reform the existing building safety system to ensure residents of multi-occupied buildings in Wales do not encounter these problems in the future.
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