Following the Building Safety Act (BSA) gaining Royal Assent at the end of April, the Government has now commenced consultations regarding the swathe of secondary legislation that is required in order to complete the detail of the new regime.
As reported in our earlier Insight, while the BSA gaining Royal Assent was a significant milestone, it was in some ways only the start of the journey. A lot of the detail as to how many elements of the BSA would be given teeth was left to be set out within regulations, expected to come into force over a period of 12-18 months following Royal Assent.
The Government commenced consultation on these regulations (insofar as they will apply to the law in England) in June, beginning with the Higher Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations. That first consultation, which focussed on completing the definition of 'higher-risk buildings' for the purpose of the BSA, closed on 21 July 2022.
On 20 July 2022 the Government published two further consultations into key elements of the planned building safety regime.
The first consultation covers the regulations required under Part 3 of the BSA; this comprises the implementation of a new building control regime for higher-risk buildings, including the introduction of 'gateway points' at commencement and completion of a project, the establishment of the 'golden thread' of information, change control, safety occurrence reporting and enforcement. It also deals with the new dutyholder and competence regime, which will be applicable to all building work (with enhanced duties for higher-risk buildings).
The second consultation covers the regulations required under Part 4 of the BSA; this comprises the new safety regime for higher-risk buildings once they are occupied, including registration and certification, the duties of the accountable person (and principal accountable person), the contents, management and storage of the 'golden thread' of information, safety reporting and resident liaison.
Importantly, both consultations also mention the potential transitional arrangements that would be in place when the regulations come into force.
These consultations are due to close on 12 October 2022, and we expect that reporting and regulations will follow over the subsequent months.
It is expected that further consultations in respect of regulations being brought in under Part 5 of the BSA (primarily concerning mechanisms for the remediation of buildings, provision of various other protections such as the New Homes Ombudsman, New Home Warranties and Construction Products) will commence in the autumn. We will, of course, keep you updated as more details emerge.
If you have any questions about this, please get in touch with Sue Ryan, Gemma Whittaker or Sean Garbutt.