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Construction News quotes Michael O'Connor on issues relating to the building control registration deadline

Some commentators are suggesting that construction work on some high-rise residential schemes could grind to a halt because the recent extension to the building-control registration deadline does not apply to private company certification. According to reporting from Construction News, fears and concerns continue to build in the industry as the registration deadline looms.

As part of Construction News's investigation, Michael O'Connor, Partner in our construction, engineering and projects team, was invited to provide analysis:

On 14 March 2024 and in the wake of the wake of significant concerns raised by local authorities and other parts of the construction industry, the HSE notified a change to the transitional arrangements for the registration of building control inspectors (‘RBIs’) in England. 

"The HSE did not acquiesce to the industry’s cry for more time.  BCIs still have to register by 6 April 2024 but they have been given a further 13 weeks’ extension to successfully complete their competence assessments.  Interestingly, the Welsh Government have taken a similar approach but have given RBIs a 6 months’ extension.

"This problem is not being viewed as limited solely to RBIs.  For a registered building control approver (‘RBCAs’), competency assessments are not needed, but certain information is required at the time of the application and the applicant may be invited to attend an interview.  It is therefore unsurprising that the HSE has chosen not to make any adjustment to the registration deadlines for RBCAs - steadfastly sticking to the 6 April 2024 registration deadline.

"It remains to be seen how much of an impact on the construction projects pipeline we will see.  For higher-risk building projects, employers will be focussed on satisfying the requirement to have sufficiently progressed the works by 6 April 2024. But (among other matters), their appointed approved inspector must also have registered as an RBCA by 6 April 2024.  If not, they will encounter potentially substantial programme  and budget impacts applying to the HSE in its capacity as the building safety regulator for building control approval and depending upon which of the alternative transitional provisions apply in the given scenario.

"The Construction Leadership Council reported an estimated decrease in the construction output of 0.9% in the three months to January 2024, attributed to a decrease in new work, both for infrastructure and private housing.  It remains to be seen whether the industry’s greatest fears on delay and cost as a result of registration issues will materialise.

Read the full piece in Construction News here (subscription required).

 

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