The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee (“HCLGC”) published yesterday the responses to the Government’s June 2019 consultation in relation to the reform of the building safety regulatory system. The Government also set out its views on building safety work being undertaken in the UK and the progress of remedial works to high-rise developments featuring combustible cladding.
The publication is set out in two parts and discusses conclusions in relation to 1) the pace of change since the Grenfell Tower Fire and 2) responses to the consultation, specifically concerning cladding, these were:
The pace of change since the Grenfell Tower fire
- The pace of change set by the Government in reforming the building and fire safety regulatory regime has been too slow.
- It is the view of the HCLGC that the process of removing and replacing potentially dangerous cladding from high-rise and high-risk buildings is taking too long.
- The £200 million fund, announced by the Government on 9 May 2019, will not be sufficient to fully remediate all affected buildings, and the Government is highly likely to need to provide additional funding.
- It is questionable whether the use of combustible cladding resulted from failures in the construction or the ambiguity of regulations in Approved Document B, particularly whether the ‘filler’ in ACM was required to be of limited combustibility.
- The Government should fully fund the removal and replacement of any combustible cladding from any high-rise or high-risk building.
Response to the Consultation
- The scope of the new regulatory system should not be determined by height alone and the new regime should apply to all buildings where there are vulnerable people, while other determinants of risk should also be taken into consideration.
- The Government must ensure that new burdens funding is made available where it expects public bodies, like fire and rescue authorities, to take on new responsibilities.
Construction professionals and other interested parties should be observant of future changes in the building regulatory regime in the medium and long term.
Click here to read an article regarding government consultation for proposed building regulations reforms.