Editor: We express our thanks to the emergency services whose prompt actions prevented the recent fire at New Providence Wharf from becoming a tragic sequel to Grenfell Tower.
Yet why is it that, almost a year after the government’s self-imposed and totally unrealistic ‘fix-all-by-June’ deadline, very little has been done? There are more excuses from all parties than there are buildings in need of remediation.
This begs the question: should a lessee be entitled to the same protections we enjoy as consumers of goods? Is the property of ’merchantable quality’, defined as being fit for the purpose for which it was intended – a safe and secure home?
New Providence Wharf may raise this issue again. Ballymore, the developer, and its subsidiary Landor, the freeholder, have successfully sidestepped the non-Building Safety Fund portion of the £11.6m remediation bill. Their contribution to the £3.6m shortfall is a paltry £0.5m.
Is it not now time for those who made money from the developments to step in and provide immediate cash?
Investors, who are often overseas and have acquired property on a speculative basis, must be subject to a degree of moral hazard. After all, investments go up as well as down. It is not for the taxpayer to bail out gambling losses.
Steve Underwood, COO, Colmore Tang Construction