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Introduction of the Building Safety Bill

Posted: 6th July 2021

The Construction Leadership Council welcomes the introduction of the Building Safety Bill to Parliament yesterday by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Alongside the introduction of the Building Safety Bill, some draft statutory instruments on scope, duty holders and competence; as well as transitional provisions have been published. Further details including factsheets can be found here and in the MHCLG press release on GOV.UK.

The Bill will define the scope of the new regulatory regime and includes:

  • establishing the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR) within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). As part of its role, the new regulator will oversee the new, more stringent yet proportionate regulatory regime for new and existing high-rise buildings of 18m and above;
  • setting out clear duties and responsibilities on those who commission, design, construct and refurbish high rise buildings, as well as those responsible for ensuring buildings are safely managed when occupied; and
  • introducing powers to strengthen the regulatory framework for construction products, underpinned by a market surveillance and enforcement regime led nationally by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).

It is imperative that all parts of the industry make themselves aware of the changes to begin to understand and implement these during the design, construction, maintenance and refurbishment of all buildings going forward, not only high rise residential buildings. Only then will we see the cultural change that is needed in the industry.

In the coming months, through the Building Safety Workstream, the CLC will be actively engaging with industry to promote awareness and understanding of the new regulatory regime, industry-led initiatives and core principles. The whole supply chain must engage now and play their part to improve.

CEO of Tideway and Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council, Andy Mitchell said: “The Construction Leadership Council welcomes the introduction of the Building Safety Bill, and we look forward to working closely with MHCLG and other relevant parties to embed the requirements of the Bill into the industry’s working practices. The Bill is a key part of the Government’s wider reform package and now it is here, all should seek to lead the cultural changes that are needed.”

Graham Watts, CEO of the Construction Industry Council, Chair of the Competence Steering Group and Co-Chair of the CLC’s Building Safety workstream said: “It has been a long wait but essential in order for the Government to get a set of very complex issues as well defined as possible in the bill. I particularly welcome the early sight of proposals for the detail in secondary legislation, which is vital to a complete understanding of the new regime and its implications.

CEO of the Construction Products Association and Co-Chair of the CLC’s Building Safety workstream, Peter Caplehorn said: “This is a really significant moment for the UK construction industry and the entire supply chain can welcome this new Bill. Along with a range of initiatives already underway which are helping to drive culture change across the industry, the legislation will provide the much-needed legal framework for reform. The new regulatory regime for construction products is a particularly key way in which we can ensure better safety in the built environment. I’m sure this will be complemented by the new Code for Construction Product Information.