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 Developers commit to making their Scottish buildings safer
Construction & engineering

Developers commit to making their Scottish buildings safer



Earlier this month, the Scottish Government released a statement naming the eight developers who have signed a Developer Commitment Letter under the Scottish Safer Buildings Accord.

This is a significant milestone following the Scottish Government’s announcement last year of its intention to work with industry body, Homes for Scotland, and leading developers to address the issue of combustible cladding in multi-occupancy residential buildings.

Which developers have committed?

The developers who have signed the Developer Commitment Letter are mostly large UK-wide housing developers who have already made similar commitments in England and Wales:

  • Persimmon Homes
  • Miller Homes
  • Cala Group
  • Barratt Developments
  • Springfield Properties – the only developer operating solely in Scotland
  • Taylor Wimpey
  • Lovell Partnerships
  • Keepmoat Limited

Bellway has communicated its intention to do so.

What is the commitment?

The eight developers have all committed to:

  • work collaboratively with the Scottish Government to develop a long-form contract which will govern the remediation and/or mitigation works; and
  • remediate and/or mitigate life-critical fire safety defects in multi-occupied residential domestic buildings which are at least 11 metres in height and which were built by them as a developer (but not solely as a contractor) in the period of 30 years ending on 1 June 2022.

The Development Commitment Letter also acknowledges the Scottish Government’s plan to deliver the remediation and/or mitigation programme for Scotland in several “waves”, with each wave concentrating on a different group of developers. The present “Wave 1” concentrates on those developers who have already signed the UK Government Pledge and long-form contract in respect of their English properties.

What are the next steps?

Although the Developer Commitment Letter is not a legally binding contract and does not give third parties, namely property owners, a right of recourse against developers, the developers will be expected to work “in good faith and at pace” with the Scottish Government to develop a long-form contract which will give contractual force to the commitment.

These long-form contracts will regulate the relationship between the developers and the Scottish Government, and will most likely follow a similar approach to that taken in England to anticipate and impose requirements for separate contracts between the developers and owners of affected buildings for the carrying out of necessary remediation/mitigation works.

As for the likely progress of works, the good news for building owners is that developers are already accepting responsibility, progressing with fire risk assessments and carrying out works under pilot projects with the agreement of owners. Hopefully, this will now gather pace.


The Scottish Government’s announcement of developer commitment will be encouraging for homeowners, but there remains a long way to go for a “once and well” solution for all affected buildings.

It could be some time yet before the long-form contract is agreed to regulate the basis upon which works are carried out. Also, where this is Wave 1, it has to be recognised that many affected buildings in Scotland were originally developed by smaller, less-resourced, Scottish-only developers which may no longer exist or lack the financial resources for carrying out the necessary remedial works.


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