Queen’s Speech – Bishop of St Albans on planning, building safety and accessibility

On 17th May 2021 the Bishop of St Albans spoke in the third day of debates on the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords, focusing on the continuing issues of leaseholders facing costs for replacing dangerous cladding, and the new planning Bill.

“My Lords, I too look forward to hearing the maiden speeches of the noble Lords, Lord Coaker and Lord Morse, but I want to start by congratulating the Minister on introducing the leasehold reform Bill.

“Ending ground rents—or, as one person called it recently, the serfdom charge—in new developments is an important and positive reform, and I will welcome this opportunity to be mostly congruent with the Minister, after been being on opposing sides of the Fire Safety Bill. While this is a great victory for future leaseholders, existing leaseholders, particularly those in developments affected by the building and fire safety scandal, nervously await their fate.

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Bishop of St Albans asks Government to make developers pay to remedy work not meeting fire safety standards

On 12th May 2021 the House of Lords questioned Government on fire safety and cladding, following a recent fire in east London.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, the Government have said that it is not right for the taxpayer to bail out leaseholders, but taxpayers’ money through the building safety fund could be bailing out developers for building substandard developments. What plan do the Government have to investigate whether developments met fire safety regulations at the time of construction and, in those cases where regulations were not met, to apportion remedial liability to the developers, so that those responsible actually pay?

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