The use of a cladding material that has been suspected of contributing to the spread of fires could be cut back after the Association of British Insurers changed its guidance on the product.

The ABI said it was clarifying its guidance on the use of sandwich cladding panels with combustible cores after it had been misinterpreted to justify their use in inappropriate schemes. It is understood these could include hospitals.

There have been calls to ban the panels completely after four firefighters died battling a fire in a warehouse in Warwickshire last November. The building was clad with plastic foam core panels.

Graham Murphy, a councillor at Peterborough council, has written to 419 council chief executives to urge them to use the planning system to impose a ban on the use of combustible panels unless additional fire safety measures such as sprinkler systems are specified.

Murphy said Peterborough council could not implement these measures on its own.

He said: “We can put that as a condition of planning permission, but it probably wouldn’t stand up with the planning inspectorate. If you have the whole country supporting this, the planning inspectorate has to sit up and take notice.”

Murphy is also campaigning for the Building Regulations to be changed to make structures built using plastic foam-cored sandwich panels safer.