Welcome to this week’s building safety bulletin. This page outlines some of the significant news and changes affecting developers, leaseholders, contractors, housing providers, and anyone else interested in the UK’s building safety crisis.
1. Registration process for Building Safety Regulator opens
The registration process for the Building Safety Regulator’s (BSR) portal has commenced, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced last week. As part of the Building Safety Act’s reforms, all existing residential buildings with heights of at least 18 metres or 7 storeys should be registered with the BSR by 1 October. The Principle Accountable Person (PAP), which can either be an individual or an organisation, has an obligation to carry out the registration process. For all new buildings that are finished after the beginning of October, registration with the BSR will be required before they are occupied. The government has set out guidance on its website.
2. Developer remediation contract update
The signatory list to the government’s developer remediation contract remains unchanged this week, with 46 developers having signed up. The four remaining developers are Abbey Developments, Avant, Dandara and Rydon Homes. It has been reported in Housing Today that Dandara and Avant are close to agreeing to the terms of the contract with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
3. Leasehold reform – when can we expect it?
In January, Michael Gove called the leasehold system an ‘outdated feudal system’ and said his Department intends to draft and bring forward legislation to instigate reforms before the end of this year. This morning, in an interview with the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, Lord Stephen Greenhalgh, suggested it is unlikely leasehold reforms will be part of the King’s Speech this autumn. However, the former Minister of State for Building Safety and Fire did acknowledge that he is not currently ‘close enough’ to the internal discussions on the matter. According to DLUHC’s estimates, there are over 4.8 million leasehold homes in England.
4. Shadow Minister visits Ipswich
Last week, Matthew Pennycook, the Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich and Shadow Housing Minister, visited Ipswich to meet stakeholders and residents who’s lives have been impacted by fire safety defects at St Francis Tower and Cardinal Lofts. Mr Pennycook told journalists at the Ipswich Star that, despite new legislation and remediation contracts, for most leaseholders across the country, the building safety crisis ‘remains entirely unresolved’. Residents will now be hoping that Michael Gove makes the same trip to Ipswich, and it has been reported that the Secretary of State has promised to do so.