The government has launched a consultation on the creation of a new building safety regulator following the Grenfell tragedy.
The consultation follows on from the government’s implementation plan for the recommendations made by the Hackitt Review in December 2018.
Responsibilities of the proposed new building safety regulator would include; ensuring an effective system is in place for inspecting buildings and building safety information, ensuring that whistle-blowing, resident concerns and mandatory occurrence reports are effectively collected and acted upon, and advising on and preparing proposals for changes to building regulations as needed.
Regulation of construction products will be kept separate from the new regulator however, with the government establishing a separate standards committee.
In the consultation foreword, housing secretary James Brokenshire said the new regulator will keep tabs on those working in construction. “We have outlined plans for a new building safety regulator to provide oversight of the new building safety regulatory regime,” he said.
“This regulator will also oversee the wider building and regulatory system and watch over efforts to assure the competence of those working on buildings. We are also proposing to strengthen the oversight and regulation of construction products.”
Pinsent Masons health and safety legal director Katherine Metcalfe said she supports a new buildings regulator with teeth and significant powers. “The Government’s proposals go significantly beyond Dame Hackitt’s recommendations in a number of respects,” she said.
“The role of the new building safety regulator will have teeth and significant enforcement powers. The question remains as to how new duties will be rolled out and policed which will be crucial to its success. The new regulatory regime will apply to many more buildings than Hackitt proposed which has potential to prompt a widespread cultural shift for housing, and more broadly for the UK’s built environment.”
The specific model for the building safety regulator has still to be determined. The consultation is set to run for eight weeks until 31 July.
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