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Regulator publishes Strategic Plan 2023-2026 to “drive positive change”

04 December 2023

THE BUILDING Safety Regulator – the independent body established within the Health and Safety Executive by the Building Safety Act 2022 – has published its 27-page Strategic Plan for 2023-2026, which establishes a vision designed to create a built environment wherein everyone is competent and takes responsibility in order to ensure buildings are of a high quality and safe.

Already, the Building Safety Regulator is leading a critical change in culture and behaviours across industry and the entirety of the built environment. This represents the most significant change to regulation of building safety for a generation and means residents and other building users can be confident that industry is working together to make sure the tragedies of days gone by – among them Lakanal House and Grenfell Tower – will never be repeated.

The Building Safety Regulator aims to improve the safety and standards of all buildings, make sure residents of higher-risk buildings are safe – and, what’s more, feel safe – in their homes and help to restore trust in the built environment sector.

It will do so by delivering consistent standards within the building control profession, overseeing and driving improvements across the whole built environment, regulating the planning, design and construction of new higher-risk buildings, ensuring those who are responsible for occupied higher-risk buildings manage risk such that residents are safe and working in partnership with co-regulators.

The Building Safety Regulator will oversee a new stringent regime for high-rise residential buildings, as well as overseeing the wider system for regulating the safety and performance of all buildings and increasing the competence of relevant regulators and industry professionals alike.

Practical and comprehensible

Commenting in the foreword to the strategic plan, Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) notes: “The system that regulates our buildings must be practical and comprehensible. The Building Safety Regulator must lead the sector in creating a built environment that’s fit for the future. This first three-year Strategic Plan is a significant moment in that mission. It looks forward and lays out a solid foundation on which the Building Safety Regulator can build its ambition in future years.”

Philip White, director of building safety at the Health and Safety Executive, explained: “This Strategic Plan sets out the guiding principles we have put in place to keep us focused on our priorities in delivering the new regime. We will keep it under continuous review and ensure that we have the right capability and capacity in place to meet this challenge as our remit continues to evolve, working with others on sharing knowledge, expertise and data.”

White continued: “Our focus is clear and resolute as we oversee a culture of higher standards, all the while putting building safety first. Our regulatory activities will be conducted in a way which is transparent, accountable, proportionate and consistent.”

In conclusion, White observed: “Throughout the next three years, the Building Safety Regulator will continue to work across all sectors to ensure that those operating in the building sector engage fully with the new regime. Our aim is that people will witness fundamental changes to the safety and standard of all buildings and increased competency among industry professionals that raises those standards year on year.”

Strong and coherent

Sarah Newton, chair of the Health and Safety Executive, stated: “This is a strong and coherent strategy built on collaboration with all of the Building Safety Regulator’s stakeholders. There’s a keen focus on ensuring that industry takes ownership and responsibility for delivering a safe system throughout the lifetime of a building. This must be front of mind for everyone. Everyone must be aware of their legal responsibilities. Collaboration and collective responsibility are key when it comes to delivering better standards.”

*The Building Safety Regulator’s Strategic Plan 2023-2026 is available to view online