The Welsh government does not expect to launch any new pavement remediation projects until spring 2022.
Tenants still residing in buildings covered with aluminum composite material (ACM) siding and other hazardous materials will have to wait until April 2022 for further remediation work to be carried out. Surveys, which are due to start in the fall, must first be carried out and funding allocated before new sanitation works can begin.
The government has already started or completed work on 12 buildings in Wales, but has pledged to fund work on buildings over 11 meters in height and to remediate buildings with dangerous coatings and other problems fire safety. The 12 buildings benefited from a fund worth £ 10.5m last year.
The government estimated in March that about a third of its 152 high-rise buildings had fire safety issues ranging from minor to significant.
The ACM liner, which has a polyethylene core, is partly responsible for the rapid spread of the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, where 72 people were killed.
A Welsh government spokesperson said it is investing funds to conduct fire safety investigations across the country, and those responsible, building owners or management officers will be able to request an investigation which will take place at autumn.
They pointed out that the Welsh government plans to go further than the UK government and address safety issues other than coating. It will also allocate building security funds to skyscrapers over 11 meters in height, although buildings over 18 meters are given priority. Westminster has only committed to funding the rehabilitation of buildings over 18 meters.
In England, tenants of buildings between 11 meters and 18 meters in height can apply for loans to finance the renovation of their apartment buildings.
Earlier this week, Welsh Housing Minister Julie James (pictured) told the Welsh parliament the problem goes beyond coating, and she pledged to tackle issues such as’ compartmentalisation, problems evacuation systems, fire systems, things that hold the coating to the wall, there’s a whole range of those things ”.
Buildings identified as having hazardous coating and other hazardous characteristics will be issued building safety passports to cover remediation work. More information on the remediation will come next spring.
So far, the government has committed £ 32million to remediate buildings with ACM coating in 2021/22. But he said earlier this week that he expects more money to come from Westminster via the Barnett formula.
The spokesperson said it was difficult to make decisions on funding without more information on decentralized funding from Westminster.
Mark Habberfield, co-founder of the Welsh Leasehold Campaign, which campaigns for building safety issues in Wales, said: “It’s been four years since we really discovered these issues that may exist in our buildings. This is [the] not knowing – it’s the killer. Is my wooden balcony good or not? Is what is under the siding, even if it is brick, safe? Is it a slippery brick or is it a real solid brick? No one really knows.
A fire at a high-rise ACM-clad building in London in May was not spread by the cladding, which never caught fire. The London Fire Brigade’s investigation found that the wooden balconies had caused the fire to spread from the eighth to the 11th floor of the building, leading to further calls for the Building Safety Fund to include other materials rather than the only ACM coating.