THE CONSERVATIVE Party this week called for Construction (Design & Management) regulations to be incorporated into the planning process after failing to have the legislation annulled in a parliamentary debate.
Rather than hold a vote on annulment of the regulations, Conservative MP Andrew Selous said that he wanted the regulations debated and an assurance they would be reviewed in a year.
Selous was representing the concerns of clients who are worried about the amount of liability that the revised CDM regulations expect them to take on (NCE 29 March).
Addressing work and pensions minister Anne McGuire, he said: 'I have a central point to make to the minister: I urge her to do more to integrate health and safety in construction with the planning permission and building control regime.
'If the design and management requirement of the regulations had to be met to receive planning permission, the advantage would be that planning permission would not be given if satisfactory health and safety concerns were not evident in the proposals put forward to the local planning authorities.' He explained that this would ensure that clients were fully aware of all potential construction risks and the measures needed to mitigate them before planning approval was granted.
McGuire accepted his points but added: 'That will, of course, take time. . . effort and energy across the industry to ensure that integration happens.' Construction Clients Group health and safety group chairman James Preston-Hood said: 'The government needs to get a grip on the practicalities of implementation.
'These regulations will apply to all UK plc.
'We are pleased that our concerns have been raised, but there is still mass confusion outside the construction world over who needs to comply with these rules.
'The real issues lie with those businesses who do not procure construction work as part of their day-to-day activities. They would be the ones most affected by these new rules.'