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Building and Fire Safety

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Kate Knox, Knowledge Development Lawyer

2022

November

  1. Money - Icon V2

    The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities opens a Consultation on the design and implementation of the Building Safety Levy

    The levy is intended to be paid by developers and charged on new residential buildings requiring building control approval in England (with a potential exception for qualifying smaller builds), for the purpose of meeting a £3billion shortfall relating to building safety expenditure over the next 10 years.

    The Consultation will last for 10 working weeks, ending on 7 February 2023.

    Further reading
  2. Safety - Icon V2

    The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2022

    The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2022 are made on 18 November 2022.

    The third set of commencement regulations have now been issued under the Building Safety Act 2022. The Regulations bring into force, from 1 December 2022, sections of the Act relating to the building safety regulator’s duties to:

    • assist specified groups in the improvement of building safety;
    • establish a building advisory committee; and
    • establish and maintain a committee of residents of higher-risk buildings to advise it on its functions.

    There are transitional provisions.

    Further reading

October

  1. Estate of Flats - Photo

    HSE launches a new Consultation on the latest version of the Building Control Competence Framework (BICoF)

    • All building control professionals (regardless of whether or not they work on higher-risk buildings) will have to register with the Building Safety Regulator (HSE), demonstrating their competence. 
    • The Consultation closes on 9 December 2022.
    Further reading
  2. High Rise Flats - Photo

    Consultations closed

    • Implementing the new building control regime for higher-risk buildings and wider changes to the building regulations for all buildings (relating to Part 3 of the BSA)
    • The new safety regime for occupied higher-risk buildings (relating to Part 4 of the BSA).


    Further reading

     

  3. Report - Icon V2

    HSE updates its website, advising that it will become the new building control authority for higher-risk buildings from October 2023

    This suggests that the earliest time for the new building control regime to come into force will be October 2023, with the 6 months’ transitional provisions applying thereafter.

    Further reading

September

  1. Money - Icon V2

    The Financial Conduct Authority issues its report

    The Financial Conduct Authority issues its report on reforms for the multi-occupancy buildings insurance market, examining the causes of insurance premium and commission increases and considering the range of potential action that the Government and industry could take to address them.

    Further reading
  2. House - Photo

    The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities challenges the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA) to address serious concerns

    The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities challenges the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA) to address serious concerns regarding:

    • significant increases to insurance premiums and commissions earnt by insurance brokers, and
    • the reported practice of insurance brokers sharing commission with building owners and managing agents.
    Further reading
  3. Road Sign - Icon V2

    New Guidance published by the Government

    Information for leaseholders and other residents on fire safety and remediation of historic building safety defects. It includes guidance on who is responsible for paying for the remediation works.

    Further reading
  4. Report - Icon V2

    Government publishes new guidance

    Building Safety Fund for new applications (2022): A guide for leaseholders and residents. It provides guidance on how the adapted 2022 building safety fund process works.

    Further reading
  5. Report - Photo

    Government publishes its 58th monthly data release from its Building Safety Programme

    Data published includes the percentage of high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings in England which either have completed or started remediation work to remove and replace unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding.

    Further reading
  6. Book - Icon V2

    Government publishes building Safety Fund guidance and data

    Building Safety Fund guidance and data on the number of Building Safety Fund registrations received from the private sector and social sector and the total amount of funding allocated for the remediation of non-Aluminium Composite Material cladding.

    Further reading

August

  1. Fire - Icon V2

    The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 2) Regulations 2022 are made on 31 August 2022

    These Regulations are the second commencement regulations under the Act, bringing into force sections 126-129 of the Act on 1 September 2022. This commences the powers relating to a scheme for developers and the prohibitions on developing land and building control which may be imposed on persons including on persons who are eligible to be a member of a scheme established under section 126 of the Act but who are not members.

    Further Reading
  2. High Rise Flats - Photo

    Seeking information on leaseholder-owned buildings above 11m or 5 storeys with relevant defects

    Consultation opened seeking information on leaseholder-owned buildings above 11m or 5 storeys with relevant defects, to help inform government policy in determining how best to protect the leaseholders in such buildings from the impact of building safety defects. This is connected with the Government’s decision that the leaseholder protection provisions in Part 5 of the Building Safety Act should not apply to leaseholder-owned and commonhold buildings because leaseholders, in their capacity as freeholders, would still have had to pay to remedy the safety defects in their buildings.

    The consultation closes on 14 November 2022.

    Further Reading
  3. Report - Icon V2

    Explanatory notes

    Explanatory notes to the Building Safety Act are published.

    Further Reading

July

  1. Magnifying glass - Icon V2

    New BS 8644 standard

    (relating to the digital management of fire safety information (to be used alongside ISO 19650) is published in final form on 31 July 2022.

    Further Reading
  2. Discussion - Icon V2

    Higher Risk Buildings Regulations

    Consultation on proposed Higher Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations which complete the definition of higher risk buildings for the new building safety regime closed on 21 July 2022

    Further Reading
  3. Report - Icon V2

    Implementing the new building control regime for higher risk buildings

    Consultation on implementing the new building control regime for higher risk buildings and wider changes to the building regulations for all buildings (relating to Part 3 of the BSA) is published on 20 July 2022.

    Consultation closes on 12 October 2022

    Further Reading
  4. Flats Block - Photo

    The new safety regime for occupied higher risk buildings

    Consultation on the new safety regime for occupied higher risk buildings (relating to Part 4 of the BSA) is published on 20 July 2022. 

    Consultation closes on 12 October 2022

    Further Reading
  5. Estate of Flats - Photo

    The Building Safety (Leaseholder Protections) (England) Regulations 2022 came into force on 20 July 2022

    These Regulations support the leaseholder protection provisions in Sections 116 to 125 of the 2022 Act, making provision in relation to remediation of certain defects in buildings over 11 metres in height (or of at least 5 storeys)

    Further Reading
  6. wales - timeline

    The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 1) (Wales) Regulations 2022

    These Regulations provide for Section 48 (Insurance: removal of requirements) of the 2022 Act to come into force in Wales on 28 July 2022.

    Further Reading

June

  1. Flats Block - Icon V2

    Certain Building Safety Act sections came into force 2 months after the enactment of the Act

    Sections 116 – 125 and Schedule 8, whereby qualifying leaseholders of buildings above 11metres or 5 storeys may pursue claims for remediation of certain defects causing a building safety risk of fire or building collapse.

    Section 134 which incorporates a new section 2A (Duties relating to work to dwellings etc) into the Defective Premises Act 1972, to broaden the Act’s application to refurbishment or rectification works to a dwelling carried out by contractors.

    Section 135 which incorporates a new section 4B into the Limitation Act 1980, creating special time limits for pursuing claims in respect of damage or defects in buildings.

    Section 146 and Schedule 11 which sets out the statutory framework for the new construction products regulations, to apply to all construction products, not just those to higher-risk or residential buildings.

    Sections 147 to 155, making manufacturers liable to those with a legal or equitable interest in dwellings for defective construction products and where such products have caused the dwelling to be unfit for habitation. 

    Sections 157 to 159, amending the Architects Act 1997, giving the Architects Registration Board new powers to monitor architect’s competence through a new competence system (CPD scheme) and ultimately giving the ARB rights to reprimand, fine, suspend or strike off architects failing to meet the standard. 

    By virtue of The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 1, Transitional and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2022, Section 132 of the 2022 Act came into force on 28 June 2022, allowing certain persons to seek a court order for disclosure of information to establish which companies may be associated with the original companies responsible for the works; to potentially go on to seek a Building Liability Order against those associated companies where it is just and equitable to do so.

    Further Reading
  2. Building - Icon V2

    The Government publishes its response to the review of the ban on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings

    As a consequence, the Government will introduce the Building etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022 which will bring hotels, hostels and boarding houses within the scope of the Regs, banning metal composite materials used on Grenfell Tower, amending the list of materials exempted from the ban and changing performance requirements.

    Further Reading

May

  1. Door Keys - Photo

    The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 1, Transitional and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2022

    These Regulations are the first commencement regulations made under the 2022 Act.

    They provide for certain sections of the 2022 Act to come into force on 28 May, 28 June and 28 July 2022.

    Further Reading
  2. High Rise Flats - Photo

    The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

    These Regulations were made on 17 May 2022 imposing obligations on responsible persons for the electronic supply of information to fire and rescue authorities relating to design and materials in external wall, floor plans and building plans as well as other obligations for residential buildings.

    They’ll come into force on the 23 January 2023.

    Further Reading
  3. Fire - Icon V2

    The Fire Safety Act 2021 (Commencement) (England) Regulations 2022

    Section 1 of the Fire Safety Act 2021 (Premises to which the Fire Safety Order applies) came into force on this date, also bringing into force remaining Section 3.  Section 2 of the Fire Safety Act 2021 came into force 2 months after the 2021 Act was passed on 29 April 2021.

    Further reading

    Further Reading
  4. Report - Icon V2

    Building safety: remediation and funding - government response to the Select Committee reports

    This is the government’s response to the Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities Select Committee’s reports published on 26 April 2021 and 7 March 2022 following its inquiries into cladding remediation and building safety remediation and funding in England.

    Further Reading

April

  1. Flats Block - Icon V2

    Cladding and insulation manufacturers

    The Secretary of State has written to the Construction Products Association and warned he will do whatever it takes to hold cladding and insulation manufacturers to account.

    Further Reading
  2. Report - Icon V2

    Government publishes a list of developers who have pledged to commit to remediate life critical fire safety works in buildings over 11 metres

    As of 8 July, 48 developers have signed a pledge committing to remediate life critical fire safety works in buildings over 11 metres that they have played a role in developing or refurbishing over the last 30 years in England.

    Further Reading

March

  1. Contract - Photo

    Government response to proposal to remediate unsafe buildings over 11 metres

    Response to Home Builders Federation commitment to remediate fire safety defects

    Further Reading

January

  1. Magnifying glass - Photo

    New online service to track remediation of high-risk buildings

    Leaseholders of buildings 18m and over with unsafe, non-ACM cladding can track the progress of Building Safety Fund applications.

    Further Reading
  2. Report - Icon V2

    Inquiry launched into building safety funding and remediation

    The effectiveness of Government’s planned measures to address cost of unsafe cladding remediation will be examined by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee.

    Further Reading
  3. Gavel - Photo

    Government announcements to industry to address cost of cladding remediation

    Secretary of State gives developers a deadline of early March 2022 to agree a fully-funded plan of remediation for unsafe cladding, including for 11-18 m buildings.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

2021

October

  1. Money - Icon V2

    4% residential property developer tax to apply from 1 April 2022

    It will apply to the largest residential property developers on profits made from UK residential property development.

    Further Reading

September

  1. Law - Icon V2

    Residential property developer tax - Draft legislation published for consultation

    Draft legislation to be included in Finance Bill 2021-22. Final details to be announced in Autumn Budget, 27 October 2021.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight
  2. Money - Photo

    Waking Watch Relief Fund applications further extended to 10 December 2021

    Further Reading
  3. Book - Icon V2

    HSE guidance on safety case principles published

    In anticipation of the Building Safety Bill coming into operation in 2022, the Health and Safety Executive has proposed safety case principles for high-rise residential buildings to manage risk of fire spread and for reporting on fire and safety hazards.

    Further Reading

August

  1. Crane - Photo

    Planning Gateway one comes into effect

    Planning issues relating to fire safety must be incorporated in the development process of relevant high-rise residential building schemes.

    Further Reading

July

  1. Hammer - Photo

    Report on requirements of ‘golden thread’ during the design and construction phase

    Building Regulations Advisory Committee’s report discusses obligations of dutyholders in maintaining digital thread of information.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight
  2. Road Sign - Icon V2

    Proposed timing for construction industry changes published

    Transition plan forecasts Bill to receive Royal Assent mid-2022 with different provisions to take effect mid to late 2023 (within 12-18 months after Royal Assent).  

    Further Reading
  3. Law - Icon V2

    Draft Building Safety Bill published

    Guidance on the role of dutyholders during the design and construction phase published with Building Safety Regulator overseeing high-rise residential buildings.

    Further Reading

June

  1. Flats Block - Icon V2

    ’Golden thread’ of fire safety information for high rise residential buildings required from 1 August 2021.

    Planning Gateway one guidance published for a fire statement in planning applications for new and existing multi-residential dwellings and educational accommodation over 18 m in height to evidence fire safety considerations at planning stage.

    Further Reading

May

  1. Report - Photo

    Planning Gateway one for building safety announced

    New planning requirements for high-rise residential buildings are outlined by government. Subject to parliamentary scrutiny, the changes are due to come into effect from 1 August 2021.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

April

  1. Book - Icon V2

    New residential property developer tax consultation

    The new tax, proposed to take effect from 1 April 2022, seeks to capture the largest residential property developers. Although it is intended to help pay for remediation of unsafe cladding, it applies industry wide. Consultation on the proposal closes 22 July 2021.

    Further reading

    Essential Reading: Our Insight
  2. Gavel - Icon V2

    Fire Safety Act 2021 receives Royal Assent

    The Fire Safety Act 2021 is published, but not yet fully in force. It clarifies and extends the operation of the 2005 Fire Safety Order to all multi-residential buildings.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

February

  1. Money - Photo

    £3.5B government fund announced for removal of unsafe cladding in high-rise buildings - New levy and tax on developers

    Replacing unsafe cladding for leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres (six storeys) and over will be fully funded.  Leaseholders in lower-rise buildings will have access to a long-term, low interest scheme. A developer levy and new tax for residential property development was also announced.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

January

  1. Structure - Icon V2

    New national regulator for construction products announced – Ensuring homes are built from safe materials

    The regulator can remove unsafe products from the market, prosecute companies which break product safety rules and conduct its own product-testing. An independent review has also been commissioned to examine weaknesses in previous testing regimes for construction products.

    Further Reading
  2. Discussion - Icon V2

    RICS issues consultation on guidance for valuation of high-rise residential buildings with cladding

    Consultation closed 25 January 2021.

    Further Reading

2020

December

  1. Money - Photo

    Government announces Waking Watch Relief Fund and extension to Building Safety Fund

    The UK Parliament Building Safety Update announced a £30M Waking Watch Relief Fund for installation of fire alarm systems in private high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding. The deadline to apply for the £1B Building Safety Fund for replacement of unsafe non-ACM is extended to 30 June 2021.

    Further Reading

November

  1. Book - Icon V2

    Parliamentary Committee report on Building Safety Bill published

    This follows legislative scrutiny, recommending that more detail is needed.

    Further Reading
  2. Magnifying glass - Photo

    Government announces EWS1 certificates are no longer required for buildings without cladding

    This means that where owners of flats are selling or re-mortgaging their property, they will not need an EWS1 certificate where there is no cladding on the building.

    Further Reading

July

  1. Law - Icon V2

    Draft Building Safety Bill announced

    Implementing major reforms of the building safety system following response to Building a safer future consultation (April 2020) including:

     

    • Establishment of a new Building Safety Regulator (BSR);
    • New role of ‘building control approvers’, replacing the role of Approved Inspectors;
    • A new stricter regime for all ‘higher-risk buildings’ under the new three ‘Gateway’ system throughout planning, design and construction phases of a project;
    • A new ‘duty-holder’ regime, including an ‘Accountable Person’ throughout the occupation of ‘higher-risk’ buildings.


    Essential Reading

    Essential Reading: Our Insight
  2. Discussion - Photo

    Government consultation: Fire safety and implementation of Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report

    Consultation closed 12 October 2020

    Further Reading

May

  1. Money - Icon V2

    Registration prospectus published for Building Safety Fund for remediation of non-ACM cladding systems (England only)

    Registration prospectus: The £1bn fund is in addition to monies Government has already made available to cover cost of remediating high-rise buildings with unsafe ACM cladding.

    Applications for fund extended to 30 June 2021.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

April

  1. Listening - Icon V2

    Government publishes response to ‘Building a Safer Future’ consultation

    The response sets out proposals for a reformed building safety regulatory system in response to the Hackitt Report.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

March

  1. Law - Photo

    Government introduces the Fire Safety Bill

    Fire Safety Bill introduced to improve fire safety in buildings in England and Wales, requiring the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings to manage and reduce fire risk in the structure and external walls of the building.

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

January

  1. Discussion - Photo

    Government consultation: Expanding aspects of ban on use of combustible materials in external walls

    Proposals include inclusion of hotels and boarding houses, lowering the height threshold of the ban from 18 to 11 metres, and banning combustible composite materials in all buildings, regardless of height.

    Consultation closed 25 May 2020

    Closed consultation - Review of the ban on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

2019

December

  1. Money - Photo

    New industry-wide process announced for valuation of high-rise buildings

    A new industry-wide voluntary valuation process is announced by RICS for buying, selling and re-mortgaging homes in buildings above 18 metres (six storeys), including the use of EWS1 forms. The External Wall Fire Review Process requires a fire safety assessment to be carried out by a suitably qualified person and is valid for five years.

    Further Reading

October

  1. Listening - Icon V2

    Report for Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower inquiry is published

    The report explains what occurred at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 and, among other things, recommends new legal requirements on owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings.

    Further Reading
  2. Royal - Icon V2

    Implementation of a new building safety standard is announced

    A new building safety standard is announced in the Queen’s Speech. Its purpose is to establish a new regulatory regime to create robust building safety standards, including the implementation of a new independent Building Safety Regulator (BSR).

    Essential Reading: Our Insight

June

  1. Safety - Photo

    Building a safer future consultation published

    Government consultation proposes reform of the building safety regulatory system in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, including creation of a ‘duty-holder’ system and increased focus on long-term maintenance and management of buildings post-construction.

    Consultation closed 31 July 2019

    Consultation outcome - Building a safer future—proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system

    Charles Russell Speechlys provided a response to the consultation

    Essential Reading: Our Insight
  2. Discussion - Icon V2

    Government consultation: Review of Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

    Government seeks views on its fitness for purpose for non-domestic premises, although the call for evidence considers whether the Order should apply to common parts of multi-occupied residential buildings and to mixed-use buildings.

    Consultation closed 31 July 2019

    Further Reading

May

  1. Money - Icon V2

    Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund announced

    £200M fund to remediate unsafe ACM cladding on private sector residential buildings 18 m or higher. Applications for the fund closed 31 December 2019.

    Further Reading

2018

December

  1. Building - Photo

    Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 come into force in England

    New Regulation 7(2) requires all materials which become part of a new or refurbished external wall on a building above 18m, containing one or more dwellings, to be of limited combustibility.

May

2017

June

  1. Road Sign - Icon V2

    Grenfell Tower disaster

    Fire breaks out at the 23 storey tower block in North Kensington, West London.

2015

October

  1. Flats Block - Icon V2

    New version, BS 9991:2015 published

    Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings – Code of Practice is published and recommends any cladding and insulation material used above 18m should be of limited combustibility.

2011

December

  1. House - Photo

    BS 9991: 2011 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings – Code of Practice published

    It recommends that combustible materials should not be used in cladding systems.

2010

October

  1. Hammer - Icon V2

    Current Building Regulations 2010 come into force

    Parts B1 – B5, relating to fire safety, remain as per Building Regulations 2000.

2005

June

  1. Law - Icon V2

    Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in force

    It covers general fire safety in England and Wales and will be amended by the Fire Safety Bill.

1991 - 2000

January

  1. Shovel - Photo

    Building Regulations

    Further versions of Building Regulations come into force, including a new Part B5 relating to access and facilities for the fire service.

1984

October

  1. Building - Icon V2

    Building Act 1984 comes into force

    Building Act 1984 comes into force permitting Building Regulations to be made and to approve ‘Approved Documents’.

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