MORE than 100 high rise towers in Scotland will be subject to a cladding assessment scheme in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy after SNP ministers announced an extension to the project.

Some of Scotland’s largest housing developers have now agreed to work with the SNP-Greens Government and others to address cladding issues to ensure buildings are safe.

Under the Scottish Safer Buildings Accord (SBA), developers will be expected to fund works to properties they built to address safety issues identified through the Scottish Government’s Single Building Assessment programme. Public funding will be prioritised for buildings that are not linked to an existing developer.

A pilot assessment programme will now be expanded to include another 80 buildings, meaning that more than 100 high-rise towers in total will be part of the scheme. The Scottish Government has announced that a new streamlined process for commissioning the assessments will help identify at-risk buildings more quickly.

SBAs are a “comprehensive inspection” of blocks of domestic residential buildings, which examine fire safety and suitability for mortgage lending.

They identify what needs to be remediated on a building-by-building basis, in line with the most up-to-date building standards.

Housing Secretary Shona Robison told MSPs that “the Grenfell Tower tragedy shocked us all”. She added: “It highlighted that many could be living in buildings that pose a clear risk to their safety.

“That risk was never commonly understood by developers, lenders, building insurance firms and even surveyors and fire engineers.”

A new streamlined process for commissioning the assessments will help identify at-risk buildings more quickly, she said.

Ms Robison said “every penny” of the £97.1 million received in consequentials for 2021/22, as well as any additional funding, will be invested into assessing buildings and ensuring they are of a safe standard.

She added that she expects the “vast majority” of buildings to be found to be safe.

Ms Robison said: “This is the next big step towards addressing the cladding crisis in Scotland.

“While I know this has been a stressful and frustrating time for affected homeowners, it has been vital that we take the time to understand this incredibly complex issue so we can now start to address it.

“Let me reassure homeowners again that we expect the vast majority of buildings to be safe.

“This is a problem Government can’t fix alone, and I look forward to working collaboratively and at pace with developers and homeowners to fix buildings affected by dangerous cladding.”

The Scottish Government has developed the Scottish Safer Buildings Accord alongside Homes for Scotland – a membership body for housing developers – as well as homeowners and other key partner organisations.

Nicola Barclay, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said: “I am pleased to confirm that Homes for Scotland has agreed to work with its members and Scottish Government to develop an accord which will include the broader sector in time, reflecting the responsibilities of all parties involved in the design, construction and inspection of buildings.”