15 December 2020
Under Construction - Q4 2020 – 1 of 5 Insights
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee (Committee) has now completed its pre-legislative scrutiny of the daft Building Safety Bill.
Whilst welcoming the policy intent behind the draft Bill, the Committee has found that in its current form, the draft Building Safety Bill fails to provide sufficient detail since it relies on as yet unpublished secondary legislation; and urges that much more detail be included when the final Building Safety Bill is introduced to enable certainty as to how the regime will work in practice.
The recommendations set out in the Committee's report include:
As previously mentioned, the draft Bill contemplates the new regime applying to higher risk buildings but leaves the definition in the Explanatory Notes. The Committee recommend that the definition be included with the Bill itself, together with the further risk factors to be considered in the future when the scope of the Bill is to be expanded. This will provide certainty as to how the regime will work in practice.
The Committee also call for the proposed timetable to be published to provide some clarity as to when the new regime will come into effect.
As we suggested when the draft building safety bill was announced the proposed building safety charge for leaseholders to pay for building safety measures has been criticised by the Committee where it relates to historical remediation costs, including the removal of dangerous cladding.
The Committee is firmly of the view that these remediation costs should be borne by government and industry. Before the Bill is published, the Committee recommend that Government should announce how it proposes to fund historical remediation costs.
For higher-risk buildings the building control body will be the Building Safety Regulator removing the ability of developers of such buildings to choose the building control authority. The Committee recommend that this choice is removed for all buildings and not just those that will fall to be regulated as higher-risk buildings.
It is now up to the Government to improve the detail of the Bill. Once the draft Bill is finalised, it is expected that the Bill will be formally introduced into Parliament during 2021. Beyond that there is as yet no detail yet as to what sort of transition period will be put in place, nor when the draft Building Safety Bill will be enacted.
We will continue to provide updates on developments but please contact us if you require specific help or advice.
by multiple authors