Fire safety scandal threatens to engulf house building industry

Report into Persimmon's failure to install cavity wall fire barriers in some of its homes likely to expose construction failings across industry

fire safety

A fire safety scandal threatens to engulf the house building industry after Persimmon was heavily criticised by housing sector Robert Jenrick after an independent report forced the builder to check 16,000 homes.

The comment by the minister urged the builder to address the problem immediately while a Ministry of Housing spokesperson told Housing Today that in future house builders which did not meet the required standards of safety and quality might not be given access to Help to Buy cash.

Persimmon’s problems began when the company appointed Stephanie Barwise QC to head a wide-ranging review of the company following criticism of its construction quality and huge bonuses for senior management.

Fire safety

It has subsequently found that many homes built by Persimmon were not fitted with cavity wall fire safety barriers and that the failure put many homeowners who bought its timber-framed homes at an ‘intolerable risk’.

Jenrick (left) has released a statement that says: “Persimmon has published an independent review of its business and they will want to take immediate action to address the concerns raised.

The minister has also said that problems at Persimmon highlight the need for greater home buyer protection, and support his plans to establish of a housing ombudsman which, when introduced, will cover all sectors of the industry.

Earlier this year investigations by both the BBC and London Fire Brigade found problems at developments built by two other high-profile developers, Bellway and Berkeley Homes.

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