Yesterday, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee published its report on the Building Safety Bill.
The Committee has welcomed the policy intent behind the draft Bill (which is yet to be put before Parliament), but highlights the lack of detail on the procedures to be implemented by the Bill. This is particularly the case on the core provisions concerning the "Gateways" process and the regulation of construction projects.
Included in the Report's key recommendations:
- Inclusion of as much detail in the Bill itself or to publish the secondary legislation alongside it.
- publication of a timetable or commencement so it is clear by when the industry has to demonstrate compliance.
- An express definition of "higher risk buildings" and the factors that must be considered in the future when the scope of the regime is expanded - the ability of residents to evacuate a building being a principal factor.
- Including within the Bill provisions for establishing a national system of third-party accreditation and registration for all professionals working on the design and construction of higher-risk buildings.
- Imposing a duty to co-operate where there is more than one "accountable person" for individual buildings
- Implementation of a national system of accreditation to agreed common standards and for a central register of building safety managers.
- Greater transparency on the testing regime of construction products and the publication of test failures and re-run tests.
When the draft Bill was first published in July 2020, the Government stressed that it was receptive to the views of all concerned and it will be interesting to see whether they take on board these recommendations in the next draft of the Bill.
We urge the Government to include as much detail in the Bill itself or to publish the secondary legislation alongside it. It is especially important that this be done for core provisions such as the Gateways process and the regulation of construction products.