Building Regulations pose a number of concerns as the Building Regulation Review confirmed at the Interim stage, they are not fit for purpose and must be changed urgently.
"There is a need for one clear compulsory foolproof method of enforcement, not the pick and mix we have at present. Building owners/landlords should not be responsible for the building regulations approval for their own buildings, particularly in relation to structure or fire. There is a need for an independent body above the building owner such as existed under the old London County Council /Greater London Council District Surveyor system. It has been suggested by Chief Fire Officers that a National Fire Safety Agency is set up like the Health and Safety Executive. I support that" - Sam Webb.
Changing the Building Regulations will be an important step toward tower block safety but it will not necessarily be enough alone.
We also need to ensure that any new regulations are effectively enforced in order for tower block tenants to benefit from improved safety standards. We have suggested that the Building Regulation Review includes a consideration of how tenants will be able to ensure compliance. We have suggested that the Review Team considering the legal process that tenants can use so as to ensure compliance with new regulations and that their voices are heard in future when they have concerns. We are considering developing a “model” approach setting out enforcement arrangements. Alongside, we would like to develop resources to support tenants to make use of the new regulations and their enforcement arrangements, including on-line templates for letters / submissions and guided pathways backed up by access to specialist legal and technical support.
Read updates on the goverments Building Safety Programme here.