Public inquiry

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry published its Phase 1 report on 30 October 2019. The focus of Phase 1 has been to establish what happened on the night of 14 June 2017.

Phase 2 of the inquiry began on 27 January and is examining the circumstances and causes of the fire.

Phase 1 findings and recommendations

The headline findings of the first phase of the inquiry address:

  • The cause of the fire and the cause of the spread of the fire, concluding that flames spread rapidly due to the presence of ACM panels with polyethylene cores.
  • That there is evidence to suggest that the external wall system used at Grenfell Tower was not compliant with building regulations.
  • Recommendations for building owners, including on specific safety checks of buildings, the provision of information to local fire services and residents, reviewing and maintaining fire safety mechanisms, evacuation procedures, and on checking the compliance of fire doors.

The report confirms that further investigation will be needed in Phase 2 of the inquiry on:

  • The decisions which led to the installation of a highly combustible cladding system on a high-rise residential building and the wider background against which they were taken.
  • The evidence relating to the circumstances in which people in the building died.
  • The warnings given by the local community about potential fire hazards.
  • The rigour and enforcement of the testing regime for construction materials and cladding systems.
  • The design and choice of materials used on the building, including an examination of building regulations and supporting guidance.
  • Whether fire doors in the building were compliant.
  • Whether specific fire safety mechanisms in the building worked as intended.

There are a number of findings in the report that may have implications for housing associations in the long term. Our member briefing summarises these findings and their implications for the sector.  

Taking the recommendations forward

In the Queen’s Speech on 19 December 2019, it was announced that the government would introduce a new Fire Safety Bill to implement the relevant legislative recommendations of the Phase 1 Report.

More detail of the Fire Safety Bill is contained in the government’s response to the recommendations of the Phase 1 Report, published on 21 January 2020. The response sets out actions the government has been taking that are relevant to the inquiry’s phase 1 recommendations.

How we’re engaging with the inquiry

We have met with the inquiry to explain who we are and our role, so that they are aware of the information and support we could offer them if they thought it appropriate. We’ll continue to monitor the progress of the inquiry to understand what the implications of its findings will be for our sector and any support we can provide our members as a result.

More information about the inquiry is available on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry website.  

Who to speak to

Victoria Moffett, Head of Building and Fire Safety Programmes