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Has the government banned the use of combustible materials in cladding on blocks of flats?

On 21 December 2018 the government brought in a clear ban on the use of combustible materials on the external walls of new buildings over 18 metres high which contain flats, as well as new hospitals, residential care premises, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation over 18 metres high.

Regulations were presented to Parliament on 29 November 2018 to give legal effect to the ban.

All materials which become part of an external wall or specified attachment must achieve European fire rating Class A2-s1, d0 (both limited combustibility) or Class A1 (non-combustible).

This includes balconies, sun shadings and solar panels attached to an external wall
The ban applies to new building work and also existing buildings going through a change of use to become a building falling within the affected category. Accordingly, office buildings being converted to apartments will have to comply with this requirement.

The regulations do not apply where a building notice or an initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, a local council before 21 December 2018 and either the building work to which it relates has started before that day, or is started within two months from that day.

These regulations apply in England only.

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