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DLUHC issues suite of secondary legislation for building control framework

28 August 2023

THE DEPARTMENT for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has issued a suite of secondary legislation which applies to the new building control framework. The following will come into force on 1 October 2023: the Building (High-Risk Buildings Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023, the Building Regulations etc (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 and the Building (Approved Inspectors etc and Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2023.

In order to assist interested parties in navigating the legislation and supporting the new building control approval process for higher-risk buildings, the Building Safety Regulator has developed some new guidance entitled ‘Building Control: An Overview of the New Regime’. That guidance runs to 34 pages.

Further, the Government has published the following consultation response on changes to the building control profession and building control process for approved inspectors:

Consultation outcome on changes to the building control profession and the building control process for approved inspectors

Other consultation responses relating to the safety regime for occupied high-rise residential buildings can also be accessed online:

Consultation outcomes on the new safety regime for occupied higher-risk buildings

Government response to building certification, safety case approach, mandatory occurrence reporting, residents’ voice, the golden thread, appeals, enforcement and key building information

2023: a “defining year”

Philip White, director of building safety at the Building Safety Regulator, has outlined that 2023 is “a defining year” for the built environment in England. Certainly, given the Government’s building safety legislative reforms, this is the most significant change to the regulation of building safety for a generation.

“The journey we have been on over the past three years has been challenging,” affirmed White, “but we are now at the crucial stage of that journey. This will result in a change for all those working in the built environment such that people can be safe – and feel safe – in their homes and places of work.”

The Building Safety Regulator is central to the Government’s building safety reforms in England in terms of ensuring tighter regulations, improved oversight and promoting competence among the construction industry and registered building inspectors.

From October this year, the Building Safety Regulator will become the Building Control Authority for high-rise buildings in England. All those who own or manage high-rise buildings in England also need to register their buildings before 1 October 2023. The Building Safety Regulator is working with its partners to improve standards across the building control profession.

“We are working with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in delivering the programme for setting up the Building Safety Regulator,” noted White, “as the secondary legislative packages are completed.”

On track

White has reported that the Building Safety Regulator’s remit and regime is on track to meet agreed timelines. “I am confident in our delivery programme and the stringent work schedule involved in establishing the Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive.”

Further, White outlined: “We are ensuring that our regulatory regimes on fire and structural safety of buildings are robust. We continue to lead from the front in encouraging stakeholders, industry professionals and fellow regulators alike to recognise that a meaningful change in culture and behaviour is required for the future.”

Building a positive safety culture throughout the construction and housing sectors is going to be vital. At what is a pivotal juncture for building safety, the enhancement of competence is crucial for the future design, construction and management of buildings.

As part of its strategic focus around competence, the Building Safety Regulator recently set up the new Industry Competence Committee, which will preside over its first meeting in September.

The Industry Competence Committee will advise both the Building Safety Regulator and industry and has a key role to play in facilitating an improvement of competence, while in parallel engaging with a wide range of industry stakeholders and leaders to ensure that this happens.