Written evidence submitted by Taylor Wimpey [BRF 114]


About Taylor Wimpey


Taylor Wimpey is one of the largest residential developers in the UK, operating from 23 regional offices across England, Scotland and Wales. In 2021, we built over 14,000 new homes, an increase of 47% on the previous year which was hampered significantly by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 18% of our total completions in 2021 were affordable homes.


Taylor Wimpey has been following with interest the Committee’s inquiry into building safety remediation. It has long been our view that customers and leaseholders should not bear the cost of investment to ensure their buildings are safe and mortgageable. The following submission outlines the steps we have taken on building remediation to date, alongside the areas we believe the Government ought to give further consideration. We hope it will be of use to the Committee as it considers this important issue.

Taylor Wimpey Building Remediation Scheme

In March 2021 Taylor Wimpey committed to fund fire safety improvement works on all Taylor Wimpey buildings constructed in the last 20 years, irrespective of their height or whether we retain a legal interest.

These works will bring those buildings up to RICS EWS1 standard. This commitment was made in addition to our previous commitment to remove and replace ACM cladding on Taylor Wimpey buildings in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy.

The scheme we have established means that Taylor Wimpey will fund and directly oversee the works in apartment buildings that are currently in our ownership, regardless of current eligibility for the UK Government Building Safety Fund.

In those cases where Taylor Wimpey no longer owns the building, and it is not eligible for either the Building Safety Fund or similar future support schemes, where a freeholder produces a fair and proportionate plan for fire safety works following EWS1 assessment, we will contribute funding to bring those buildings up to the standards required by current RICS EWS1 guidance. Whilst the legal responsibility continues to rest with the building owner, we will also provide advice and other assistance where appropriate.

To date, Taylor Wimpey has completed remediation of 12 buildings. Work towards full remediation is progressing with a further 64 buildings, which are all at different stages of the process, but we are pleased to say are moving in a positive direction. This mix includes buildings we currently still own and others where we no longer retain a legal interest but are still committed to funding and assisting with remediation.

Our commitment to fund fire safety improvement works on our buildings is an estimated contribution of £165 million. We took this decision to provide certainty for customers and leaseholders, and we believe this is a sector leading response that is proactive and goes above and beyond the actions of others in the industry. Taken in addition to our estimated Residential Property Developer Tax contributions over the next ten years, this is a significant contribution that means we are already paying more than three times the cost of remediating all of our buildings.


Funding Arrangements

We firmly believe that leaseholders have not created these issues and so any solution to this crisis should not be a cost that is borne by them. We also recognise that our industry has a responsibility to play its part in resolving the problem - and Taylor Wimpey has done so. Any proposed solution from Government must take into account businesses that have already taken action, ensuring that they are not penalised for taking a responsible and proactive approach.

Government should also look to the wider industry, including material suppliers and contractors, to financially contribute and play their part in the resolution of this crisis. Currently, we remain the only sector to have done so through the Residential Property Developer Tax.


Other outstanding issues


It is also important to understand that beyond funding, there have been other barriers and outstanding issues which have delayed significant progress from being made:


  1. The sector still does not have clearly agreed external wall standards that the Government, regulators, RICS, mortgage lenders and insurers accept. This has created a huge amount of uncertainty around the changes required and is not something that the housebuilding sector can resolve on our own. We believe that this requires urgent attention and action by Government before meaningful progress can be made.


  1. There is currently a significant skills shortage in the UK, particularly regarding the availability of fire-safety expertise. With demand for qualified contractors and consultants rising, issues have emerged over the speed in which remediation works can realistically take place. Until this is resolved the delays to building assessments and remediation will remain.


Taylor Wimpey appreciates the opportunity to provide written evidence and hope that the above is of assistance as the Committee progresses its inquiry.


February 2022