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Health and Safety Minister admits flammable cladding still allowed on high-rises

MINISTERS are facing more pressure to toughen building regulations after one of them admitted that current rules allow flammable cladding to be used on high-rise buildings.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab said in a letter to the housing, communities and local government (HCLG) committee that guidelines do not require the surface of exterior walls of buildings more than 18 metres high to be of “limited combustibility.”

A vast review into the regulations underpinning the construction industry has been ongoing since the Grenfell Tower disaster last June.

It is highly suspected that the fire, which killed 81 people, was fuelled by a flammable cladding system installed during a refurbishment of the council-owned tower block.

Aluminium composite material (ACM) panels are commonly installed on the outside of buildings, including Grenfell Tower.

It is believed that the core of the ACM sheets used to cover the tower, however, was made from combustible polyethylene.

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy is due to begin evidence hearings later this month.

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