On 1 November 2023, the Scottish Government's Housing (Cladding Remediation) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament. The new Bill gives Scottish Ministers powers to: 

  • Assess and remediate residential buildings over 11m high with unsafe cladding, where consent of the owners cannot be provided. This looks to address the issue of the remediation of "orphan" buildings with no identified developer (although the powers are not limited to these buildings);
  • Create and maintain a Cladding Assurance Register to give residents confidence about the assessment and works undertaken once those buildings are remediated; and
  • Gives the Scottish Government the power to establish a Responsible Developers Scheme, to support engagement with developers and encourage them to pay for or carry out remediation work. 

Orphan buildings

Although the new Bill gives the Scottish Government powers to remediate buildings (including "orphan" buildings), it remains unclear whether a scheme similar to England & Wales's Building Safety Levy will be introduced to fund the remediation of buildings where no linked developer can be identified.

Responsible Developers Scheme

Although the Scottish Government has stated that the Responsible Developers Scheme is still subject to consultation, it has said that the membership conditions for such a scheme would likely include agreement to pay for historic remediation costs, with potential sanctions for developers that are eligible but do not join or continue membership. This looks to be aimed at incentivising developers to commit to the Scottish Safer Buildings Accord (see our previous article on this here) and reinforces the Scottish Government's intention to devise a legally binding contract to give contractual force to the Accord.

Similar "Responsible Actor Schemes" were launched in England in July 2023, being part of the changes under the Building Safety Act, with the English Government having wide ranging powers to block access to market if developers refuse to adhere to the membership conditions and join the schemes (see our previous article here). As is now being proposed in Scotland, the membership conditions in England include entering into the English developers remediation contract agreeing to remediate or pay for the remediation of fire safety defects in buildings over 11 meters they have developed or refurbished.

With the technicalities of the Responsible Developers Scheme in Scotland due to be introduced via secondary legislation, interested parties will have to wait to find out more about how it will operate in practice and whether it will mirror the position in England.

Visit our Building & Fire Safety Hub for more updates.


Lucy McCracken

Senior Solicitor

Amy Pairman

Senior Associate

Louise Shiels

Head of Dispute Resolution and Risk & Partner