Government threatens first legal action over fire safety delays


The Recovery Strategy Unit (RSU), a new government body created to action situations where responsible parties ‘repeatedly refuse to fix buildings’, has warned owners of a tower block in Stevenage that they face legal action if they do not commit to remediating the tower’s fire safety defects.

Grey GR are the owners of Vista Tower, a 15 storey residential tower block, but in a statement Grey GR advised that there were ‘factual inaccuracies’ in the RSU’s letter which it said it will address ‘in due course’.

Grey GR had been given 21 days to commit to resolving the fire defects or face court action.

The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities issued a press release in which it advised the move had demonstrated the government’s ‘commitment to making sure building owners, landlords and developers meet their legal obligations and protect tenants in their own homes’.

Simon Clarke, Levelling Up Secretary of State, commented: “The lives of more than 100 people living in Vista Tower have been put on hold for over two years whilst they wait for Grey GR to remediate unsafe cladding. Enough is enough.

This legal action should act as a warning to the rest of industry’s outliers, big and small. Step up, follow your peers and make safe the buildings you own or legal action will be taken against you.”

James Burgoyne of Brunel Professions said: “The government is getting tough on the owners of unsafe buildings. Actions of this type are likely to further accelerate the trend by owners to try to pass off liability for fire safety defects to contractors and their building professionals.”

The press release issued by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities was published on the government’s website. Construction News and Mortgage Solutions issued comment on the proposed action. is owned by Brunel Professions, which is a leading professional indemnity insurance broker in the UK. Click here to get a quote or call 0345 450 1074 to speak to a broker.