Government sets out timetable for Building Safety Bill

The Palace of Westminster (Image: Dreamstime/Tomas1111)

The passage of the Building Safety Bill through Parliament is expected to take at least nine months, the government has said.

Following the Bill’s publication today (5 July), the government said it expected a number of changes would come into force in the next 12 months. Those changes include:

  • Establishing the Residents’ Panel within the Building Safety Regulator.
  • Additional powers for the regulation of construction products, including paving the way for a national regulator for construction products, which is being established within the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).
  • Changes to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
  • Strengthening the powers of the Architects Registration Board to monitor the competence of architects.
  • Extending the limitation period of the Defective Premises Act 1972 retrospectively – and applying this Act to refurbishments prospectively.

It predicted that the “bulk” of new provisions brought forward under the Bill would come into force 12-18 months after the Bill receives Royal Assent in Parliament.

Those new provisions include:

  • Establishing the Building Advisory Committee within the Building Safety Regulator to help it to oversee the safety and performance of all buildings. Additionally, the Building Safety Regulator will begin managing the performance of building control bodies.
  • Setting up the Industry Competence Committee within the Building Safety Regulator.
  • New gateways to ensure building safety and regulatory compliance is considered at each stage of a building’s design and construction.
  • A targeted developer levy, on developers of certain high-rise residential and other in scope buildings in England.
  • Mandatory reporting to the new Building Safety Regulator of prescribed fire and structural safety occurrences.
  • The requirement to create, hold and maintain the golden thread of information.
  • Mandatory registration of building inspectors and building control approvers.
  • Mandatory registration of occupied high-rise residential buildings with the Building Safety Regulator.
  • New requirements on dutyholders to have clear accountability and statutory responsibilities as buildings are designed, constructed and refurbished.
  • New duties on the Accountable Person to manage building safety risks in occupied high-rise buildings, including duties to engage with residents.
  • New duties on residents to ensure each other’s safety by making sure their actions do not adversely affect the safety of their building.
  • Placing additional duties on the Accountable Person to explore alternative cost recovery routes before passing costs to leaseholders and a Building Safety Charge to cover the ongoing costs of implementing the new regime,.
  • New requirements for construction products included on the safety-critical list and the requirement for construction products to be safe, with strengthened oversight and enforcement powers to be used by the national regulator for construction products to operate effectively.

For more detail on what the Bill will deliver, click here.

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