Bellway is the first developer to cave in the battle to make developers pay for the building safety crisis. This comes as no surprise since the main organisers of Action for Fire Safety Justice, the group responsible for a series of high impact showroom protests, have been relentlessly targeting Bellway for over six months.
The biggest lesson from this victory is that protest works, particularly protests that directly hit the developers’ pockets and put off potential new buyers. This has been a key feature of the campaign, which has also targeted government with a rally at Downing Street. Homes for All has been proud to support this campaign, which has sought to unite tenants, leaseholders, trade unions and Grenfell campaigners in a struggle that fights for safety before profit.
Bellway Homes have agreed to fully fund the fire safety remediation of Caspian Quarter not only removes the financial burden from Caspian Quarter leaseholders, but provides a degree of peace of mind for the future in view of the incoming fire safety regimes such as the new standard PAS8890. This comes shortly after the win for leaseholders at Bellway’s Chelmsford development, where the developer confirmed it will step in to fund works that will remove unsafe Grenfell style cladding from their homes. https://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/essex-housing-bellway-homes-replace-6210489
Bellway Homes confirmed in a letter to Barking Leaseholders:
In this instance and due to the unique set of circumstances, Bellway will step in, set aside legal responsibility, and wholly fund and deliver the removal and replacement of the balcony decking, check and rectify cavity barriers and install those considered missing behind the cladding, as well as replace the cladding with an A1/A2 rated alternative.
AFSJ issued a press statement saying:
This victory comes after a concerted effort from Caspian Quarter and other leaseholders, support from the active Barking Reach Residents Association, housing groups such as Homes4All, other campaign groups such as UK Cladding Action Group, End Our Cladding Scandal, and National Leasehold Campaign, Polluter Pays Bill team, Grenfell campaigners, Fire Brigade Union and other trades unions. The campaign included multiple local and national protests, meetings, emails, media coverage and was also supported by the MP for Barking Dame Margaret Hodge, Councillor Cameron Geddes and the Barking & Dagenham Council, and the Bishop of Barking.
Joanna, the co-founder of Action of Fire Safety Justice, said:
I am over the moon and cannot describe the feeling of relief upon hearing the news of Bellway finally doing the right thing for Caspian Quarter, after they had agreed to do the same for our friends at the Marconi development in Chelmsford. The building safety crisis has so many facets and consequences – in addition to safety and financial worries, it is a tremendous pressure on leaseholders’ and their families’ mental health.
Action for Fire Safety Justice will continue to fight for and with all leaseholders affected by this horrendous scandal. We call upon Bellway to remediate the rest of their defective buildings, and on other developers to follow suit, so that we may all sleep soundly, not having to worry for our lives or livelihoods.
AFSJ are keen to share their learnings with others who are facing the same thing and they will host a public meeting on 7th December where they will talk about how the victory was won and answer questions. Homes for All congratulates all who had a role in winning this concession from Bellway. We are excited to continue supporting any housing struggle that fights for homes for people, not for profit.
Public Meeting: TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2021 FROM 19:00-20:30
Action for Fire Safety Justice Update: How We Beat Bellway & How to Keep Going?
Join us as we share the campaigning tactics that forced Bellway to pay full remediation costs for our blocks. Hear from six Fire Safety Justice campaigners and join us in an open discussion as we reflect on successes and challenges in 2021 and decide together, where do we go from here?
*How We Beat Bellway (and how you can too)*
Chloe, Joanna & Kelly, ASFJ crew & Bellway Must Pay co-founders
*How We’re Beating Barratt*
Rhian, Barratt leaseholder, AFSJ crew
*How We Won London City Hall*
Reece (photographer and film-maker) and Natalie (Tower Hamlets Leaseholders for Justice), AFSJ crew
*How to Keep Going: Building Safety Crisis and Mental Health*
Natalie and Jane, AFSJ crew
*Q&A session: successes, challenges and next steps
*Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 816 9945 3728
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0203 901 7895 United Kingdom