The government published its draft Building Safety Bill on 20 July – the second of two pieces of legislation on building safety expected this year, following the Fire Safety Bill in March.
The draft bill sets out how the government will bring forward its proposals to reform the building safety regulatory system. This follows the government’s response to the Building a Safer Future consultation on 6 June, in which it set out these proposals in detail.
The draft bill sets out:
- Details of a new building safety regulator, and its functions in relation to buildings in England. It also sets out amendments to the Building Act 1984, establishing the new building safety regulator as the building control authority responsible for higher-risk buildings, and requiring the regulator to establish and maintain registers of building control approvers and inspectors.
- Definitions of ‘building safety risk’ and ‘higher-risk buildings’. Specifically, it defines higher-risk buildings as those containing residential accommodation where the floor surface of the building’s top storey is 18m or more above ground, or buildings that contain more than six storeys. It does not, however, include temporary accommodation such as hostels.
- Details of how safety will be managed in occupied buildings, imposing duties on the Accountable Person and Building Safety Manager.
The draft bill also covers the establishment of a new homes ombudsman scheme, powers around the regulation of construction products, and changes to ensure architects’ ongoing professional competence.
This is a large and complex bill, and our Policy team will be analysing the contents in the coming days. We will share further details with our members in due course, including opportunities to shape the bill as it passes through Parliament.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch.