Transitional Arrangements Under The Building Safety Act

Transitional Arrangements Under The Building Safety Act
8th September 2023

Colin Blatchford-Brown has provided Assent with an overview of the Building regulation changes, including the latest transitional arrangements, under the Building Safety Act 2022.

New Building Regulations

From the 1st October 2023, amendments to the building regulations come into force. The revisions support the Building Safety Act 2022 and it is critical to know that the changes will apply to all work requiring building control approval.

The changes introduce new dutyholder roles, including client, designers and contractors, each having specific responsibilities related to planning, managing and monitoring both the design and construction phases of a project to ensure compliance with the building regulations.

A number of new notification requirements are introduced relating to the start of building work and reaching a point at which works are considered to be ‘commenced’. The new terminology will take some getting used to but is designed to strengthen the way in which the legislation is applied to building work, essentially creating a point at which meaningful progress has been made.

There is an amendment to regulation 38, the requirement for fire safety information to be provided to the responsible person, which does need to be done before either completion or in some cases occupation occurs.

Formal enforcement options for building control authorities is also strengthened, which is important. Clients will need to be aware of the new time periods applicable as well as new enforcement tools, compliance notices and stop notices.

Higher-risk buildings (HRB’s)

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will become the building control authority for HRB’s from October. This means that if you intend to build a new HRB, make alterations to an existing one or create one through a change of use, you will need to submit a building control approval application to the BSR and secure approvalbefore you start any of the work. The new gateway process will apply. For further information follow the link:

HSE – Building control – overview of the new regime: https://www.hse.gov.uk/building-safety/assets/docs…

Transitional arrangements for higher-risk buildings

The new processes will apply unless a set of transitional provisions are met. There are two key criteria:

– a valid application or initial notice is in place before 1st October 2023, and

– work has sufficiently progressed before 6th April 2024.

The term sufficiently progressed is, for new buildings, the placement of permanent trench, pad, raft or piled foundations, and for all other work the starting of permanent building work as described in an application or notice.

All other buildings

The current choice remains of either using an approved inspector, although they will be renamed Registered Building Control Approvers (RBCA’s) from April 2024 or a local authority.

Transitional arrangements for all other building work

The amendments to the regulations relating to duty holders, regulation 38 and the notifications for start of work and commencement, will however apply to projects unless a set of transitional provisions are met. Again there are two key criteria:

– a valid application, building notice or initial notice is in place before 1st October 2023, and

– work has started before 6th April 2024.

For work to be considered as started, HSE have confirmed this consists of “the undertaking of permanent building work as described in an application or notice. It does not include site set up, demolition, stripping out works or excavation of trial holes or test piles”.

What do I need to do?

The 1st October is fast approaching, and the incoming changes to building regulations are significant.

For higher-risk building projects, clients are advised to make sure they do have an initial notice in place before the 1st October deadline, and that works will meet the new definition of ‘sufficiently progressed’ before the 6th April 2024.

For any proposed schemes that won’t meet these criteria, the project will be dealt with by BSR. Please get in touch with us and we can provide assistance and support with this new process.

For all other building work, clients are advised to make sure again that they have an application in place before the deadline, and that works will start before the 6th April 2024.

For projects that will be subject to the amended regulations, please get in touch with us and we can provide assistance and support.

If a project will be subject to the amended building regulations, consideration should be given now to designer and contractor appointments being made, as well as ensuring you are aware of the new legislative requirements.

If you haven’t already done so, please get in touch with Assent about your ongoing project or quote in relation to the HRB scope works by contacting the admin team on 01924 229180, or email admin@assentbc.co.uk or by contacting your project manager directly.

References

The Building Regulations 2010 (as amended)

The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023

The Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations 2010 (as amended)

The Building (Approved Inspectors etc. and Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2023

The Building (Higher-Risk Buildings Procedures) (England) Regulations 2023

HSE – Building control – overview of the new regime

DLUHC: Guidance on Collaborative Procurement for Design and Construction to Support Building Safety: An Overview

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