16 May 2022
ATISN 16306 – Structural repair funding
Thank you for your letter to the Minster of Climate Change regarding Celestia and Prospect Place – Welsh Building Safety Fund, which I received on 29 March 2022. Under the Freedom of Information Act, requests for recorded information, such as the one you have submitted, should be treated according to the Freedom of Information protocols. Due to the nature of the information you have requested, we have therefore treated this as a Freedom of Information Act request. Further details on Freedom of Information can be found here: Requesting information from the Welsh Government
Q1: Is it right that Maryanne Bowring, CEO of The Ringley Group, has “found a chain of people including Julie James and Vaughan Gethin to persuade for action”? If so, does that action extend to other major developments such as Celestia? We at Celestia have heard nothing.
Q2: When were PRP Consultants appointed by the Welsh Government? Is this confined to surveying Prospect Place? If not, what is their role?
Q3: What is the role of Adroit Economics Limited, the firm announced as the Welsh Government consultant on 25 February 2022?
Q4: Six days seems very short notice to start survey work. When was the decision made and communicated to the Ringley Group?
Q5: Is Prospect Place the first development to be surveyed?
Q6: On what basis has Prospect Place (and any other developments) been chosen?
The information you requested is enclosed.
A1: Welsh Government does not hold any information about a chain of people including Julie James, Vaughan Gethin that have engaged or in the words of the email, “been chased” by Maryanne Bowring.
A2: Welsh Government appointed Adroit Consortium in February 2022 to complete all initial desk based surveys of buildings that expressed interest to the Welsh Building Safety Fund.
Following on from the completion of all initial desk based surveys, pilot intrusive surveys were undertaken by PRP Consultants, who are part of the Adroit Consultancy Network. The surveying has not been confined to Prospect Place.
A3: Answered above.
A4: The Welsh Government does not hold this information.
A5: The first intrusive surveys were undertaken on 22 March and 23 March. During those days, several buildings were surveyed. Welsh Government does not hold the information on which order the surveys took place over the two days.
A6: The first intrusive building surveys were carried out on buildings assessed as higher risk. This will form the basis of all our survey work.
The Welsh Government has always taken a clear stance that it does not believe leaseholders should pay to rectify issues that constitute failure to build to appropriate quality standards, or where matters are in breach of building and/or fire regulations.
The Minister for Climate Change continues to urge developers to step up to their moral responsibilities to the residents of affected buildings and repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers should put right these faults at their own cost.
More than 100 medium and high rise buildings have been identified for further investigations and these will be completed by the end of the summer. Buildings will be prioritised based on known Fire Risk Survey concerns, height and any other information available that helps inform a safety-based assessment.
Surveys will identify the full scope of work required to remediate buildings, making them safe from fire, so the information from surveys are a crucial first step in the process. The Welsh Building Safety Programme will operate on a rolling basis, so there is no expectation that all surveys must be completed before any remediation work can begin.
This is a highly complex area, and we are working at pace to find a solution, but it must also be the right one for each building affected by fire safety issues. Our aim is to develop effective support options and reforms that will improve building safety both in the here and now and in the future.
Whilst I cannot comment on individual circumstances, with regards to service charges, it may be possible for leaseholders to challenge the rate of service charges if they are deemed unfair. For more information on this process, please see the link below:
Regarding the questions you have raised following on from the email you received from Prospect Place Managing Agents in your capacity as leaseholder, I have provided all of the information we hold to help clarify the position. I am sure you can appreciate that the information we are able to share is limited given that we have not directly received any information from Prospect Place in relation to this matter:
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit,
or Email: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office,
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.