LABC welcome draft Building Safety Bill but 'devil is in detail'

LABC has today welcomed the publication by MHCLG of the draft Building Safety Bill as a key milestone for building safety in England.

The draft Bill lays out the pillars of the biggest reform of building safety regulation since the introduction of the 1984 Building Act, but leaves much of the detail of reform to secondary legislation. Virtually every aspect of the system including design, specification, procurement, construction, hand-over and management of onward occupation will see changes.

Lorna Stimpson, LABC Chief Executive commented, "I welcome the publication of the Bill in draft form today, but there is still much to do to get the details right. LABC will be working across the industry to make sure the Bill when it is finalised does all the things it needs to do to make our buildings safer - but the devil will be in the detail.

"So far what we know is the HSE will become the Building Safety Regulator with far reaching powers to appoint building control inspectors, for higher risk building work. And all building control practitioners will need to be licensed and have to prove their competence to practice. New defined standards and processes with legal responsibilities for those commissioning and managing buildings will be introduced for the first time, local authorities and individual building control inspectors will be responsible and legally liable for their decisions. 

"So you can see the impact of these changes on all English local authorities will be huge, with building control teams needing investment and additional learning so they can evidence their resourcing, competence, standards and resilience.

"We have to ensure public safety. Change has to happen and it has to happen now."

...the impact of these changes on all English local authorities will be huge, with building control teams needing investment and additional learning so they can evidence their resourcing, competence, standards and resilience.
Lorna Stimpson, LABC Chief Executive

LABC has created lots of support, much of it free, to help local authorities through implementation of these proposed reforms including addressing the national shortage of surveyors (especially surveyors with competences that deal with high risk projects) and the effect this will have on salaries and the grading of building control officers. We are also planning ongoing communications, specifically for local government, about what needs to be done as the bill and its supporting legislation becomes enacted.

LABC has set up a dedicated enquiry service at buildingsafety@labc.co.uk for local authority leaders, senior managers and elected members to get help, advice or to find out more.

We have also produced this video...

What the new Building Safety Bill means for local authorities

Further information

View the draft Building Safety Bill and the explanatory notes that go with it.