Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1230) were laid before Parliament on 29 November 2018 and will come into force on 21 December 2018.
The Regulations ban the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings and apply to:
- All new residential buildings above 18 metres in height.
- New dormitories in boarding schools, student accommodation, registered care homes and hospitals above 18 metres.
The ban also applies where building work is a “material change of use” that brings an existing building within one of these categories.
Transitional provisions mean that the ban does not apply where a building notice or initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, a local authority before 21 December 2018, but only if the building work has already started or starts within two months of that date.
The ban comes as no surprise. The Hackitt Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety that followed the Grenfell Tower fire was widely criticised for failing to recommend such a ban. The government promised to act in spring 2018 and a consultation on its proposals closed on 14 August 2018.
The press release announcing the cladding ban also announces the government’s “full backing” for local authorities to enable them to carry out emergency work on affected private residential buildings with unsafe aluminium composite material. This includes financial backing, although local authorities will be expected to recover the cost from building owners. This is not mentioned in the Regulations. Rather than signalling further legislative change, this may simply indicate support for local authorities in using their existing powers relating to unsafe buildings, including those afforded by the Building Act 1984.
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