Barratt discovers structural design defects at seven developments

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Housebuilder Barratt has revealed seven of its developments built over 10 years ago have structural design defects which will cost around £70m to remediate

In its latest trading statement, the housebuilder provided an update following the conclusion of investigations into structural issues at a legacy development – Citiscape in Croydon.

In 2017, following the Grenfell tragedy, Barratt carried out a review of all buildings where cladding had been used.

As part of this review, the housebuilder undertook to pay for work to remove and replace Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding on the Citiscape development in Croydon. This is a non-standard development which was designed in 2001 by a third-party structural engineering firm and was sold to the current freeholders in 2003.

Structural investigation

When the ACM cladding was removed from Citiscape in 2019, structural concerns were identified and Barratt appointed independent structural engineers to undertake a full investigation of the building.

These investigations have identified significant issues relating to the design of the building’s reinforced concrete frame (RCF) requiring extensive remedial work.

The company said: “While we have no legal liability to cover the costs of this work, in line with our commitment to customers and recognising the responsibility we have for the work of our partners, we have taken the decision to pay for the required remedial action which would otherwise fall on leaseholders.

“As a responsible developer, we appointed independent structural engineers to review all of the other developments where RCFs were designed for us by either the same original engineering firm or by other companies within the group of companies which has since acquired it.

“The preliminary reviews of all 26 of these developments, the majority of which were designed over ten years ago, are complete and have not identified any issues as severe as those present at Citiscape.

“Engineers are now undertaking more detailed reviews to see if any remediation of the concrete frames is required.

“Those detailed reviews have so far shown that eight developments have no defects while seven developments required some remedial action to address smaller-scale problems. At these developments, remedial action has either been successfully completed or is underway.”

Up to 31 December 2019, the housebuilder had incurred £15.8m on Citiscape for both the costs of removing the ACM cladding and other voluntary assistance including the costs of providing alternative accommodation for residents.

Based on current assessments, it is estimated that the total future costs for the required remedial programme at Citiscape, the review itself, and any remediation required at other buildings, will be around £70m.

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