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Land & New Homes

Leading house builder Rydon kicked off Help to Buy over Grenfell role

Housing secretary Michael Gove says firm will be stripped of its Help to Buy role after tragedy inquiry highlighted 'unacceptable practices'.

Nigel Lewis

Grenfell Tower

Rydon Homes, one of the South East of England’s best-known property developers, has been kicked off the government’s Help to Buy scheme with immediate effect.

The announcement by Secretary of State Michael Gove follows concerns highlighted during the Grenfell Inquiry that the house builder had been involved in ‘unacceptable practices’.

The group’s maintenance arm was the lead contractor in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower during which the now infamous cladding was applied to its exterior prior the tragic fire in 2017.

Rydon Maintenance falls under the same parent company as Rydon Homes Ltd and has directors in common.

Help to Buy blow

The announcement will be a body blow for Rydon which, like many house builders in UK, has relied heavily on the billions of pounds pumped into Help to Buy as a way to market and sell properties. The page on its website still trumpets the firm’s role in the scheme.

Gove (pictured), who is taking a punchier approach to key issues within his housing remit than his predecessor Robert Jenrick, including Grenfell, said recently that ‘there will be consequences’ for those who are responsible for the building safety crisis and those who are failing to help fix it.

Rydon is not the only target of Gove’s ire – this week he also persuaded F1 racing team Mercedes-AMG Petronas to end its sponsorship deal with Kingspan, one of the cladding firms linked to the Grenfell tragedy.

“The development and construction industry should be in no doubt: I will continue to go after those who put lives at risk, are responsible for the building safety crisis and are failing to play their part in fixing it. The Grenfell community and innocent leaseholders deserve better,” says Gove, who heads up the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

December 16, 2021

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