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Wed October 28 2020

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Stunell moves on plans to improve building regulations

17 Dec 10 The government has added some flesh to its review of the Building Regulations, announcing key areas that it plans to target to ease the regulatory burden on builders.

 Parts K, L, M, N and P are all to come under scrutiny.

Communities minister Andrew Stunellcalled for input from the building industry in July, asking for proposals on how to make it easier and cheaper for builders to comply with the regulations.

His department received 248 responses to its request for information plus a further 600 of what are described as standard replies campaigning for the inclusion of Changing Places into Part M (Access to and use of buildings.

Of the 248, about a third came from the building-related industry, including trade associations, professionals and their representative bodies. A fifth came from building control bodies and the remainder were from individuals and various groups including police authorities and charities.

The department for communities and local government now plans to develop detailed proposals for consultation, with the focus on deregulation and streamlining of the technical and procedural aspects of the regulations. In particular, it proposes:

to evaluate the contribution Part P (Electrical safety – dwellings) has made since the requirements were introduced in 2005 and consider ways of reducing the costs of compliance

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to explore how rationalisation of Parts M, K and N (Access to and use of buildings, Protection from falling, collision and impact, and Glazing, respectively) might address areas of potential conflict and overlap (including reviewing guidance relating to access statements)

to explore changes to the building control system, seeking means of improving compliance and considering ways of reducing the burden of compliance.

Revisions to Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) will also be considered, delivering the next steps to zero carbon for homes and non-domestic buildings, and supporting wider policy for the retrofit of existing buildings.

The minister also reiterated the government's desire to manage this process through a "one-in, one-out" approach to regulation, ensuring that the cost of any new regulations is offset by regulatory savings of at least the same value.

"In the coming year, I plan to look at how we ensure our regulations are as effective as they can be in delivering safe and sustainable buildings.” Andrew Stunell said. “The success of this process is dependent on consultation with those at the frontline of the construction industry, building the homes and buildings that this country needs. That's why for me this is just the start of the process - their contribution has informed my programme of work for the next year, and I want to work with them further to ensure building regulations are fit for the 21st century."

In 2004 Stunell steered his Private Members Act on Sustainable Buildings through Parliament.

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