Knight’s Guide to Building Control Law and Regulations

Commentary

Knight's Guide to Building Control Law and Regulations

Issue 91
June 2020

The Sections listed below have had some updating of text for this Issue:

Section 1 Legal Overview
Section 1 Annex Future of Building Control
Section 5 Annex Building Regulations consultation papers
Section 6 Ancillary legislation
Section 7 Approved Documents and British Standards
Section 11 Circulars and Guidance
Section 15 Planning matters
Section 16 Water and Drainage
Section 17 Fire Safety Legislation
Volume 4 Approved Documents

In particular:
Section 1 The subsection recording the progress made on Brexit has been further updated to include events following Exit Day which occurred on 31 January 2020 and the commencement of UK/EU negotiations relating to future trade arrangements and other agreements presently due to be completed by the 31 December 2020.

Commentary is included on the governments proposal to create a New Homes Ombudsman and associated redress arrangements for the purchasers of new-build homes. Also, the MHCLG proposal to establish a Construction Products Standards Committee.

Site organisational arrangements for the construction industry which are intended to allow work to proceed on most sites, but in accordance with the emergency restrictions imposed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, are detailed.

Annex to Section 1 The Public Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire disaster has continued with its work which is duly recorded in updated text. Phase two of the Inquiry commenced in January 2020 and this will concentrate on who did what and why. Progress will continue to be monitored in subsequent Issues.

The governments response to the outcomes stemming from the consultation paper on Building a Safer Future are considered. In due course, these decisions will be incorporated into the proposals for a Building Safety Bill outlined in the Queens Speech of 19 December 2019.

Annex to Section 5 Commentary has been included on a MHCLG commissioned review of all Approved Documents which has the objective of substantially redesigning and recasting their contents to become more user friendly.

In the interim, a further technical review of the contents of both volumes of Approved Document B (Fire Safety) 2019 has been proposed even though these documents were re-issued in an updated form on 8 April 2020 (see Section 7).

Section 6 The current position on the recognition of professional qualifications is set out in the light of the arrangements agreed in the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, section 12.

The commentary relating to the electrical safety regulatory provisions in the privately rented housing sector has been updated.

Government advice on the extant regulatory requirements for the commissioning and possession of Energy Performance Certificates during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been included.

Section 7 This section has had its regular update recording the amendments and changes made recently by the British Standards Institute to standards called up by the Approved Documents.

The 2019 version of both volumes of Approved Document B, as corrected and amendments made at April 2020, have been reviewed and further commentary added. However, in view of the succession of changes which have been made to these documents and to previous versions over recent times, it is intended that the whole of the relevant commentary will be recast in the next or a later Issue.

Some updating of the commentaries on the Approved Documents for Parts G and H has been necessary to reflect recent changes made to water related legislation.

Section 11 This now includes Guidance issued by the MHCLG on 21 April 2020 to clarify the position in England regarding the application of Building Regulations whilst the restrictions, imposed to counter the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, remain in force.

Section 15 Recent changes made to the regimes exercised by the Town & Country Planning General Permitted Development Orders both for England and for Wales have been added.

Section 16 Changes made to the text in this section include additional commentary on:

  • The changes made by the Sustainable Drainage (Enforcement) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2020.

  • Water legislation now made applicable to the Isles of Scilly.


  • Section 17 Commentary is included on the Fire Safety Bill, published on 27 March, which will amend current legislation on fire safety.

    Volume 4 The latest versions of both volumes of the Approved Document (at April 2020) for Part B (Fire Safety) have now been included.