It is important that ‘tragedies such as Grenfell are never repeated’

A new system for regulating the safety of high-rise buildings, and inspecting construction sites, will be set out in the Building Safety Bill, which the government previously deemed “the biggest improvements to building safety in nearly 40 years”.

Speaking in parliament, the Queen said: “My ministers will establish in law a new Building Safety Regulator to ensure that the tragedies of the past are never repeated.”

The bill, which will implement recommendations from the Hackitt Review, is expected to categorise a further 13,000 buildings as higher risk and will legislate for the introduction of the new Building Safety Regulator.

The bill also features proposals to introduce a system of accountable persons and dutyholders, responsible for making buildings safe and the creation of a New Homes Ombudsman, designed to simplify the process to log complaints to the Housing Ombudsman for social housing tenants.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce commented: “More clarity is needed on the implications of allocating an area for growth or protection, for example.

“Meeting housing delivery targets must not come at the expense of people (likely the most vulnerable in society) living in unsuitable accommodation – any attempts to mitigate the planning process must ensure that the protections it offers aren’t lost.

“Making sure that new laws are good laws will take time and thorough consultation is needed. Any reform should not overlook the inherent complexities of the planning process.

“However radical planning reforms are, they should also be carbon net-zero compatible.”

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5 Comments

  1. Robert_May

    Quite how  building control are managing to dodge responsibility for the  safety of buildings they are charged with signing off or culpability  for the financial burden, stress and loss of lives so far is quite beyond me.

     

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  2. fpe

    To answer Robert May I have a letter sent to our local MP after we raised these questions this is from the then housing minister James Brokenshire saying  the below and just to point out this was after Grenfell. Lip service as the new builds in my area seem to not comply at all one we took on had a hole in the fire wall but was signed off as fit to sell. I cannot see the point of them.
    Thank you for your letter of 15 January , on behalf of your constituents regarding fire doors. The Ministry previously received a separate letter on this topic from your constituent, which we responded to on 20 January, a copy of which is attached for your reference.
     
    The Government is clear that all those engaged at every stage of the life cycle of a building should have proven competence. We want the construction and fire safety sectors to take responsibility for collaborating and taking a holistic approach to building safety and improving   competence.
     
    It is the responsibility of the building control body to take all reasonable steps to assess compliance. However, building control is a spot-checking process. A compliance certificate issued by a building control body is not an absolute guarantee of compliance and in no way removes the responsibility of compliance from the builder or person carrying out the work.
     
    I understand that your constituents are concerned that some fire doors may be being assessed as. meeting requirements when, in fact, they do not if  they consider that the building control body did not carry out its function properly, they may make a complaint, in respect of the local authority, to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, the website for which is https://www.lqo.orq.uk/.
     
    Thank you again for your letter. I would like to thank your constituents for raising this important issue. As you know building safety is a priority for the Government and I want to assure you that we are determined to ensure that residents are safe and feel safe.

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  3. paulgbar666

    All this is complete twaddle.

    UNTIL ALL the defective buildings of the past 40 years have been fully and correctly remediated the risks of another Grenfell exist.

     

    It will take decades for all such remediation to occur.

    Who wants to live in a potential fire trap for decades!?

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    1. fpe

      However should the new builds and refurbishments not be up to compliance levels? The building control have to sign them off or they cannot be sold surely that is the time when any issues of not compliancy could be picked up.

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      1. paulgbar666

        Indeed wouldn’t selling a defective property come under the Trade Descriptions Act!?   Mis-describing a property I thought was a criminal offence. Especially one that by it’s defects is a fire trap.     I don’t see how builders and developers are seemingly allowed to evade corporate responsibility.   There is something rotten in the UK construction industry.   It seems they are allowed to sell defective properties which aren’t up to code and there is no comeback on them.   I find this situation most odd.   Surely if properties are proven to have been built to code then no possibility of corporate manslaughter charges.   But a proven defective property with fraudulent building safety certificates shouldn’t there be insurance to cover this situation!!?   And we don’t mean the useless NHBC It does seem that those involved in construction activity are able to avoid any culpability if they produce defective properties.   I don’t know anything about the construction industry but it just strikes me as strange that these states of affairs have existed for decades.   Eyes have definitely been taken off the various required balls!!   Surely these circumstances can’t continue? Personally there is no way I would buy any new-build property. I use an analogy of buying a new car.
        If a wheel fell off would the customer be expected to pay for the repair costs!!?   Properties are the most expensive thing that most people will ever buy.   Yet it seems that those selling new properties can build any old rubbish and get away with it. I just don’t understand how this is allowed.      

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