The Welsh Government have provided their response to the Part R building regulation changes that mirrored those in England.
A consultation paper – ‘New Build developments: delivering gigabit capable connections – was published on 3 February 2023 and closed on 28 April 2023.
The scope of the consultation was to seek views and gather further evidence on proposals to use the building regulations to require gigabit capable connections in all new homes across Wales.
Draft Approved Documents were published with the consultation to set out the revised guidance for the proposed changes to Part R to the regulations.
Wales Part R contains guidance on the physical infrastructure required for high speed electronic communications networks.
One question asked to respondents was in regard to any concerns about the content of the connectivity plan, including the requirement to approach two suitable network operators for quotes.
Though the majority of respondents had no issue with the connectivity plan itself, there were concerns raised regarding potential delays for submitting initial notices, that network operators are not obliged to supply a quote, and the complexity and user friendliness format of the connectivity plan.
The Government’s response to this was to propose some amendments including removing the requirement to submit a ‘connectivity plan’ with full plan applications, building notices, initial notices or amendment notices.
Approved documents in Wales are approved by the Welsh Ministers and give practical guidance on common building situations about how to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 for Wales. Different approved documents give guidance on each of the technical parts of the regulations.
Each approved document covers the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 relating to a different aspect of building work. Building work must also comply with all other applicable requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 and all other applicable legislation.
It is the responsibility of those carrying out building work to meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010. Although it is ultimately for the courts to determine whether those requirements have been met, the approved documents provide practical guidance on potential ways to achieve compliance with the requirements of the regulations in Wales.
Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication (December 2023). Guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. For the most up to date Premier Guarantee technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the Premier Guarantee Technical Manual.