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The Building Safety Bill was introduced to Parliament following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. Its main aim is to dramatically improve building safety, with particular emphasis on ‘higher risk buildings’ over a specified height. The Bill received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022 and the various provisions of the resulting Building Safety Act 2022 (the Act) will come into force over the coming months.
Although the Act has now been given Royal Assent, the final version has not yet been published. However some of the key changes the Act introduces are:
- The creation of the role of a Building Safety Regulator (initially to be carried out by the Health and Safety Executive);
- An overhaul of parts of the Building Act 1984;
- The creation of specific provisions in relation to ‘higher risk buildings’;
- The introduction of a New Home Ombudsman;
- Reform of the regulation of architects, construction products and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005;
- Extending limitation periods relating to the Defective Premises Act 1972 and The Building Act 1984; and
- The introduction of new gateways during the planning and construction process.
The Act will undoubtedly have a significant impact on those operating within the construction industry, as well as building owners, managers and insurers. Whilst there are obvious benefits to its enactment from a safety perspective, the Construction Industry Council has expressed concern at its impact on the construction industry’s already tightened insurance market.
We will consider the provisions of the Act as enacted in more detail once published, as well as its potential impact on the wider construction industry. In the meantime, those affected by the Act should begin to consider how they can ensure that they are able to comply with its provisions as they come into force. Watch this space for further details.