Govt to setup new building safety regulator

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The government claims that these changes will simplify the existing system to ensure high standards are continuously met, with a ‘golden thread’ of information created, stored and updated throughout the building’s lifecycle…reports Asian Lite News.

The UK government is introducing Building Safety Bill in Parliament today that is aimed at setting up a new regulator with the power to prosecute property developers that do not meet safety standards.

The Bill will set out a clear pathway for the future on how residential buildings are built and managed.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick will today outline the next key step in an extensive overhaul to building safety legislation, giving residents more power to hold builders and developers to account and toughening sanctions against those who threaten their safety, the government said.

The Building Safety Regulator will oversee the new regime and will be responsible for ensuring that any building safety risks in new and existing high rise residential buildings of 18m and above are effectively managed and resolved, taking cost into account.

This will include implementing specific gateway points at design, construction and completion phases to ensure that safety is considered at each and every stage of a building’s construction, and safety risks are considered at the earliest stage of the planning process, according to government.     

The government claims that these changes will simplify the existing system to ensure high standards are continuously met, with a ‘golden thread’ of information created, stored and updated throughout the building’s lifecycle.

This will also establish clear obligations on owners and enabling swift action to be taken by the regulator, wherever necessary.

“This Bill will ensure high standards of safety for people’s homes, and in particular for high rise buildings, with a new regulator providing essential oversight at every stage of a building’s lifecycle, from design, construction, completion to occupation,” said Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP.

“The new building safety regime will be a proportionate one, ensuring those buildings requiring remediation are brought to an acceptable standard of safety swiftly, and reassuring the vast majority of residents and leaseholders in those buildings that their homes are safe,” he added.

Under the proposals, the government is more than doubling the amount of time, from 6 to 15 years, that residents can seek compensation for substandard construction work.

The changes will apply retrospectively. This means that residents of a building completed in 2010 would be able to bring proceedings against the developer until 2025.

These reforms also include new measures which apply to those seeking compensation for shoddy refurbishments which make the home unliveable.

“The comprehensive steps we are taking today will ensure that industry and the regulatory system fully address the concerns raised in the ‘Building a Safer Future’ report by Dame Judith Hackitt,” said Minister for Building and Fire Safety Lord Greenhalgh.

@C – By Tim Green from Bradford, UK

“Though the overall risk of fire across all buildings remains low, we can’t be complacent – the more robust regime will take a proportionate and risk-based approach to remediation and other safety risks. And by increasing our measures of enforcement, we will make sure industry follows the rules – and is held to account when it doesn’t,” the minister added.

The Bill will include powers to strengthen the regulatory framework for construction products, underpinned by a market surveillance and enforcement regime led nationally by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).

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