In June 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued a regulatory reform consultation paper which is applicable to both proposed and existing multi-occupied residential buildings that are 30 metres in height or more. The consultation further indicates that the trigger height will potentially be reduced to 18.0m. The consultation is a further development and extension of the findings in the Dame Judith Hackitt final report and considers both the structural safety and fire safety of the building. If the reform proposals are accepted they will become mandatory requirements.
The main recommendations to come from this paper were:
The consultation paper also set out a series of the proposals. One being the forming of a new regulatory body called the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) to come into place. It will be responsible at a national level for:
One of the focus points of the government’s response lies in managing the risks during the key stages of construction. From this they set out three gateways to ensure that each duty holder is managing the build correctly in order to move onto the next stage. The three gateways are as follows:
Gateway one will be part of the planning permission stage, the applicant will be required to submit a Fire Statement with their planning application. The local planning authority will then need to consult the BSR and potentially the fire and rescue authority before granting planning permission.
This gateway will require the duty holders to provide full documentation and plans of the build, showing that they are complying with the building regulations. The proposal being that documentations will include a 3D model of the building as it’s planned. It will also require details of all the products and materials that will be used to complete the build.
In this stage, the duty holders will be required to hand over all the building safety information about the final as-built building to the building Duty Holder, before it can be occupied. As a minimum, the client must apply for and receive a provisional registration from the building safety regulator and evidence that building risks have been appropriately assessed and arrangements are in place for it to be operated safely during the occupation phase.
No time lines have been formally announced. It’s expected, that the regulatory reform will come into some time in 2021 / 2022, followed by a transition period.