New regulator for building safety overhaul
The highly anticipated Building Safety Bill was published by the government in July, setting out a clear pathway for the future on how residential buildings should be constructed and maintained.
The proposals, which aim to reform and strengthen the regulatory system for building safety standards, are a result of the Grenfell tragedy in 2017. The new Building Safety Regulator, which would be within the Health and Safety Executive in England, would have the power to prosecute property developers that do not meet safety standards.
Robert Jenrick, former housing secretary, said: “The Bill will ensure high standards of safety for people’s homes, in particular for high rise buildings, with a new regulator providing essential oversight at every stage of a building’s lifecycle.
“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 reassure the vast majority of residents and leaseholders in those buildings that their homes are safe.”
This key overhaul will give residents more power to hold builders and developers to account and toughen sanctions against those who threaten their safety. Owners and occupiers will have up to 15 years to take action over substandard building work as opposed to the previous six years. 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.
“The introduction of the Building Safety Bill is a positive and much welcomed initiative,” says Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer of the CIPHE. “The Bill will be a catalyst to drive the culture change needed across the industry to enable the construction of high quality, safe homes in years to come.”
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