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Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the Government asked Dame Judith Hackitt to lead a review of building regulations and fire safety. This briefing outlines the main recommendations of the Hackitt Review which reported in May 2018, the subsequent Implementation Plan published by the Government in December 2018 and details of planned changes or consultations to building regulations. It also covers the ‘cladding ban’ and changes to building regulations in Autumn 2018.

Further information on Building Regulations and Approved Documents is available from the Government’s Planning Portal. Building regulations are minimum standards set out in law, and Approved Documents set out detailed and practical guidance on compliance. This briefing relates primarily to England only.

December 2019 Update:

This paper is correct up to May 2019 and will be updated shortly. Since the date of publication, the following developments should be noted:

On 6 June 2019 the Government launched a consultation on proposals for reform of the building safety system: Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system. This consultation ran until 31 July 2019 and the Government’s response has not yet been published.

On 5 September 2019 the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, made a statement to the House updating it on the new Government’s approach to building safety. In the statement he noted that he was consulting on changes to fire safety regulations for new-build blocks of flats, that he intended to respond to the building a safer future consultation by the end of the year and legislate “at the earliest opportunity”, and he announced the establishment of “a new protection board” to increase fire protection inspections ahead of the new safety regime coming into force.

On 1 October 2019 a consultation on the Future Homes Standard (relating to new home energy efficiency) was launched (closing 10 January 2020).

On 28 October 2019 it was announced that Dame Judith Hackitt would provide independent advice to the government on how best to establish the powerful new Building Safety Regulator.

In the Queen’s Speech in December 2019 the Government announced that it intended to introduce a Building Safety Bill that would “Put in place new and enhanced regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products, and ensure residents have a stronger voice in the system.” A Fire Safety Bill was also announced that would “Implement the relevant legislative recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry Phase 1 Report” and “Put beyond doubt that the Fire Safety Order will require building owners and managers of multi-occupied residential premises of any height to fully consider and mitigate the risks of any external wall systems and fire doors.” The Government’s background briefing notes

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