New regulatory framework to improve building safety

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The Government has outlined plans to introduce a new regulatory framework to improve building safety.

Building a Safer Future, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government just before Christmas, commits the Government to a programme of reform which will include the following.

  • All of the recommendations in the Hackitt review of the Grenfell Tower fire will be taken forward.

  • A “more effective regulatory and accountability framework” will be created to provide greater oversight of the building industry.

  • Clearer construction product system standards and guidance will be introduced as advised by a new standards committee.

  • The residents of buildings will be empowered with more effective routes for engagement and redress.

  • A culture change will be encouraged in the building industry, from design, through to construction and management.

The changes will be introduced through new regulations and guidance over the next few years. A Joint Regulators’ Group will be established to trial elements of the new system ahead of any proposed legislation. The Government states that the group will bring existing regulatory bodies together to work with developers and building owners, as well as seeking input from residents and tenants. New approaches will be tested through the group that may later feature in legislation.

In addition to the new framework, in another move to build on the work of Dame Judith Hackitt, the Government has also issued a “call for evidence” to gather expert advice on a full review of fire safety guidance within existing building regulations. The views of residents and those who manage buildings are also invited on how to improve fire and structural safety.

Announcing the Government’s plans, Secretary of State for Communities, James Brokenshire MP said:

“There is nothing more important than being safe in your own home and I am determined to improve building safety.

“My plan for stronger, tougher rules will make sure there is no hiding place for those who flout building safety rules.

“By making people responsible and more accountable for safety, we will create a more rigorous system so residents will always have peace of mind that they are safe in their own homes.”

Last reviewed 9 January 2019

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