A section of the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 has been quashed following a ruling that the consultation process had been inadequate.

The regulations had initially banned combustible materials from being used in or on the external walls of buildings over 18 metres containing flats, as well as new hospitals, residential care premises, dormitories in boarding schools and student accommodation over 18 metres.

However, on 27 November 2019, after a challenge to the consultation process that introduced the ban, the High Court ruled that the consultation had been inadequate in respect of the inclusion of products intended to reduce heat gain within a building (eg blinds, shutters and awnings) within the ban.

As a result, the Court quashed the part of the 2018 Regulations which had included within the ban “a device for reducing heat gain within a building by deflecting sunlight which is attached to an external wall”.

It is important to understand that this does not otherwise impact the ban on the use of combustible material in and on the external walls of buildings in scope. It remains government policy that combustible materials should not be used in or on external walls or in any attachments to those walls.

A review of the ban is currently underway, and a future Government will need to consider whether a further consultation is necessary to clarify the position for products used to reduce heat gain within buildings, alongside any other issues raised during the review.

Last reviewed 13 December 2019