Peter Apps

Peter Apps is the deputy editor of Inside Housing

Why developers deserve to pay for the cladding crisis

In recent months, Michael Gove has been upsetting not only the house-building industry but its defenders, too. The Levelling-up Secretary has been accused of ‘blackmail’ by online newspaper Cap X, which compared his actions to ‘Putin’s Russia or Erdogan’s Turkey’. The Telegraph mocked him up on a wrecking ball Miley Cyrus-style, and several trade press

Why disabled people will be forced to stay in burning high-rises

‘Grenfell is a story about a failed evacuation.’ These are the words of Professor Ed Galea, an internationally respected expert in fire safety and evacuations who, among other things, wrote a pivotal study into the attempted evacuation of the World Trade Centre on 9/11. But this is something the British state, and particularly the Home

The state failures that led to the Grenfell Tower fire

This month, five years after the Grenfell Tower fire and four years after the inquiry began, ministers will finally be called to account for the government’s failure to prevent the awful fire. Four former Conservative ministers and one Liberal Democrat will be cross examined – with the inquiry focusing on the years following the Lakanal

London also needs ‘levelling up’

‘The further a person is from one of our great capitals—whether it is London, Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast – the tougher life can be,’ Michael Gove told the House of Commons on Wednesday. It is his mission, as the first holder of the ludicrous title of secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities,

The scandal of the government’s cladding cover-up

The Number 10 Christmas parties during lockdown have dominated the news agenda in recent days – and for good reason. But there has arguably been an even bigger government scandal brewing, one which has largely been overlooked in Westminster. On Tuesday the government told the Grenfell Tower Inquiry that it was ‘deeply sorry’ for the

The dark side of ‘insulating Britain’

Let me start with some statements of fact. The planet is heating up dangerously fast with devastating consequences for everyone that lives on it and if we don’t stop pumping carbon into the atmosphere we have no future as a species. In the UK, a major source of our carbon emissions comes from homes and

How the residents of Grenfell Tower were failed

In April 2010, seven years before the building was burned to the ground, a smaller fire broke out at Grenfell Tower, leaving three residents injured and exposing a serious problem with the block. Instead of funnelling smoke out of the building, the tower’s smoke extraction system simply moved it up to higher floors. This was

Cladding risks creating a political crisis for the Tories

Today, for the third time in as many months, MPs will vote on an amendment to prevent the costs of removing cladding and fixing other fire safety defects being passed on to residents. For some time now, thousands of British homeowners have been left fearing for their lives and facing ruinous bills after fire safety

The dark heart of the cladding scandal has been exposed

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry has exposed the dark heart of the building safety crisis in recent weeks, as it examined the role of cladding and insulation firms in causing the fire. We have learned that the products used in the tower’s cladding system were known to be severely flammable and that tests pointing this out

Six ways the state failed to prevent the cladding crisis

Talk to anyone for long enough about the UK’s building safety crisis and you soon will be asked: why are we in such a mess? Why, in one of the wealthiest countries on earth with a functioning planning and regulatory system, are thousands of people currently trapped in homes built with dangerous and combustible materials?

The ‘cladding tax’ could end up being a disastrous mistake

Since the first buildings with dangerous cladding were discovered in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, one question has hung continuously over all efforts to make them safe: who is going to pay? Now, after three and a half years of stilted progress, the government appears to be on the verge of answering that

The most shocking moments from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in 2020

In the past year, a series of horrifying details have emerged from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, as it began to examine the companies which manufactured and installed dangerous cladding and insulation on the tower block. Taken together, they point to an enormous corporate scandal. Below are seven of the most shocking revelations from the Inquiry