The Building Safety Bill which was first announced last year has now been launched and begun its journey through parliament.
This builds on Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which highlighted a need for significant cultural and regulatory change. Measures included in the Bill introduced include:
- Establishing a Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive, the Building Safety Regulator will hold to account those who break the rules and are not properly managing building safety risks, including taking enforcement action where needed;
- Defining the scope of the new more stringent regulatory regime;
- Amending the Building Act 1984 to create powers to set out the new design and construction regulatory regime;
- Putting in place requirements for registering building inspectors and building control approvers;
- Increasing the powers of the Architects Registration Board to monitor the competence of architects;
- Requiring those accountable for high-rise residential buildings to actively manage building safety risks, appoint a building safety manager and fulfil the regulatory requirements of registering their building and applying for a building assessment certificate;
- Including provision to require a New Homes Ombudsman scheme to be established and create a power to require developers to belong to such redress scheme when it is established;
- Introducing new powers to allow for enhanced and strengthened regulation of construction products and paving the way for a new national regulator for construction products who will be able to remove products from the market that present safety risks and prosecute or use civil penalties against any business that breaks the rules and compromises public safety;
- Giving residents a stronger voice in the system, including more powers and options to raise concerns about safety and establishing additional obligations on landlords to find alternative financing for remediation works in order to lower the costs passed to leaseholders;
- Providing for a levy on the development of high-rise buildings that are at least 18 metres in height or have at least 7 storeys, unless exempted, to ensure the industry makes a contribution to fixing historical building safety defects; and
- Strengthening fire safety requirements for all premises regulated by the Fire Safety Order.
This is a large and complex Bill and it is anticipated that it will take at least 9 months to pass through parliament, with the main changes required by the Bill to be introduced within 18 months of the Bill receiving Royal Assent.
You can find more information about the Building Safety Bill on the Gov.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/building-safety-bill