This UK Government consultation builds on the recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, conducted following the Grenfell Tower fire. It proposes fundamental reform of building safety requirements, with the aim that residents are safe, and feel safe, in their homes. The consultation document reports on what action has been taken so far; sets out proposals for reform; seeks answers to questions; and provides several informative annexes, including one that assesses costs and benefits of the proposals. There is also a concurrent call for evidence from the Home Office about the application of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in England.
The Government accepted the Hackitt recommendations and published an implementation plan in December 2018. This consultation builds on this plan, detailing how Government intends to implement and legislate for the reforms and setting out questions that it would welcome views on. The main themes of the Hackitt recommendations were to:
- Create a more effective regulatory and accountability framework to provide greater oversight of the industry
- Introduce clearer standards and guidance, including establishing a new Standards Committee to advise on construction product and system standards and regulations
- Put residents at the heart of the new system of building safety, empowering them with more effective routes for engagement and redress
- Help to create a culture change and a more responsible building industry, from design, through to construction and management.
This consultation proposes fundamental reform of building safety requirements, with the aim that residents are safe, and feel safe, in their homes. The proposals span 5 broad areas:
- The scope of the new regime
- The concept of dutyholders who have clear responsibilities throughout a building’s design, construction and occupation
- Giving residents a stronger voice in the system and ensuring their concerns are never ignored
- Plans for a new building safety regulator to provide oversight of the new building safety regulatory regime
- Strengthened enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance with the new regime
The consultation document is divided into 6 chapters and there are questions for chapters 2-6 (see also Annex G, pages 175-183 for full question-list), as follows:
- Stronger requirements for multi-occupied high-rise residential buildings (8 questions)
- A new dutyholder regime for residential buildings of 18 metres or more (75 questions)
- Residents at the heart of a new regulatory system (11 questions)
- A more effective regulatory and accountability framework for buildings (22 questions)
- Enforcement, compliance and sanctions (6 questions)
We invited IOSH members to send us comments on MHCLG’s consultation to help inform an IOSH submission, by 17 July 2019.