In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire last year, improvements to building safety in the UK are being made with the introduction of a stronger and more effective regulatory framework.
This will empower residents to speak out against landlords and authorities who disregard their safety, as well as producing rigorous guidelines which those undertaking building work must adhere to.
The plans explain how the Government will implement the recommendations made following a review of building regulations and safety by Dame Judith Hackitt, published following the fire.
The framework will commit the government to a long-term programme of reform, taking forward all recommendations from the Hackitt review, providing a more effective system of accountability. The reform will also see clearer yet tougher guidance introduced, enforced and upheld by a Standards Committee to advise on construction product and system standards and regulations.
Residents will be the primary focus of the new system, allowing them to be a part of a cultural change in which the building industry is more responsible in both its design and management.
The Government will establish the Joint Regulators’ Group to trial elements of a new regulatory system ahead of any new proposed legislation. The group will bring existing regulatory bodies together to work with developers and building owners, as well as seeking input from residents and tenants, to develop and test new approaches that may later feature in any future legislation.
Additionally, a full review has been launched into fire safety guidance within building regulations to accompany plans to implement the changes called for by Dame Judith Hackitt.
The Government is now inviting both residents and building managers to offer their views, issuing a ‘call for evidence’ which aims to gather expert advice on a wide range of fire safety issues to create the new and revised guidelines.
As such, residents and building owners are encouraged to share existing good practice to identify ways of meeting the safety responsibilities.
‘There is nothing more important than being safe in your own home and I am determined to improve building safety. My plan for stronger, tougher rules will make sure there is no hiding place for those who flout building safety rules,’ said James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing and Communities.
‘By making people responsible and more accountable for safety, we will create a more rigorous system so residents will always have peace of mind that they are safe in their own homes,’ he added.