New building regulations in response to Grenfell

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the Government’s ‘Building a Safer Future’ proposals would ensure “stronger sanctions to prevent and punish wrongdoing”.

They include creating a more effective regulatory and accountability framework for keeping people safe, clearer standards and guidance for building materials, and giving residents more of a voice in the management of their properties.

LGA Chairman Lord Porter said: “Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the LGA has made the case for fundamental reform of the building regulations system.

“We are pleased that James Brokenshire has committed to implementing these recommendations and, where necessary, that government is going beyond them as they have done with the ban on the use of combustible materials.

“We are also pleased to be working as part of the Joint Regulators Group to develop the proposals for the Joint Competent Authority. This will help ensure effective enforcement at a local level and that building control, fire and rescue services and the Health and Safety Executive have the powers and sanctions they need to drive cultural change.”

But he added: “The definition of higher risk residential buildings in the Hackitt Review is currently too narrow. It must be extended to all buildings in which vulnerable people sleep other than private homes. Consideration must also be given to lowering the height definition of high-rise buildings from the current definition.”

While legislation will take time to implement, the Government announced it is taking action to deal with the remaining buildings where private owners are not fulfilling their responsibility to remediate unsafe ACM cladding.

An addendum to the housing health and safety rating system operating guidance has been laid to give councils confidence to take enforcement action on such buildings, and the LGA will also host a new joint inspection team.

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