NORTHWICH MP Mike Amesbury has praised housing campaigners for forcing a major concession from the Government in the battle to make developers pay to fix dangerous cladding.

Mr Amesbury was speaking ahead of an announcement by Housing Secretary Michael Gove, who aims to pressure the industry responsible to fund repair work on low-rise buildings costing up to £4 billion.

Previously the Government intended to force leaseholders in buildings under 18m to pick up the bill of fixing unsafe cladding by taking out huge loans.

Mr Amesbury, who has backed cladding campaigners all the way, praised leaseholders’ achievements – which come more than four years after the Grenfell Tower fire, involving flammable cladding, in which 72 people were killed.

The MP for Weaver Vale said: "Today is another step forward in the campaign to end the building safety crisis.

"The determination and passion of Liverpool Cladiators and many more have forced the government to respond.

"As the Shadow Housing Minister, I argued the size and scope of the Building Safety Fund was woefully inadequate.

"That those responsible for this toxic mess should pay and not innocent resident leaseholders and that the approach should be to find the riskiest buildings then fund, fix and recover, with a polluter pays principle.

"Today's announcement answers those principles in part."

But Mr Amesbury, who is now Shadow Local Government Minister, warned about the limitations of the Government proposals.

He said: "The proposed imposition of loans to pay for historical cladding remediation work on buildings that are 11-18 metres has been ditched.

"Increasing the size of the Building Safety Fund to include buildings that are 11-18 metres will potentially benefit hundreds of thousands of leaseholders trapped in this living nightmare – but note I say potentially.

"The figure of £4 billion is an aspiration. This is reliant on developers doing the right thing and the Government will have to legislate.

"What the announcement doesn't cover is the broader and costly fire safety issues that must be fixed.

"Missing firebreaks, non-compliant fire doors, wooden balconies, to name but a few.

"All these costs amount to thousands of pounds per leaseholder and as the law still stands they will be liable. The campaign to right this wrong continues."