Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick made a written statement to Parliament on 20 July
2020 introducing the new Building Safety Bill in draft
form for consultation.
The Building Safety Bill and accompanying explanatory notes
comprise over 300 pages and because of the complexity of the Bill,
it is being published in a draft form to enable consultation and
scrutiny before the Bill is formally introduced to Parliament.
The draft Building Safety Bill will be examined by a
Parliamentary committee who will report with feedback and
recommendations before the Bill is finalised and the Government say
they will also work with stakeholders on areas that need refinement
or further consultation to finalise measures.
The Bill will then be introduced formally in the House of
Commons or the House of Lords. If it progresses through all stages
in Parliament, the Bill will then be presented for Royal Assent
before it becomes an Act and the powers come into force.
Following the Grenfell fire, the draft Building Safety Bill,
taken together with the Fire Safety Bill currently going through
Parliament, and an accompanying Fire Safety Order consultation is
intended to improve safety standards for residents of all blocks of
flats of all heights, with even more stringent approaches and
oversight for those buildings within scope of the
For residents, the Bill will require that there will be someone
(called the Accountable Person) responsible for keeping residents
safe in high rise buildings of 18 metres and above. The Accountable
Person will have to listen and respond to residents' concerns and
ensure their voices are heard.
Residents and leaseholders will have access to safety
information about their building and new complaints handling
requirements will be introduced to make sure effective action is
taken where concerns are raised.
To oversee the new duties on building owners and landlords and
to make sure that the Accountable Persons are carrying out their
duties properly, there will also be a new national regulator for
building safety, within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The new national Building Safety Regulator will have new powers
to raise and enforce these new higher standards of safety and
performance across all buildings. The regulator will appoint a
panel of residents who will have a voice in the development of its
For the construction industry and owners and landlords, the
draft Bill is intended to ensure that those responsible for the
safety of residents are accountable for any mistakes and must put
them right. The new Building Safety Regulator will have extensive
powers to enforce the new rules and take action against those who
The regulator will have 3 main functions:
- To oversee the safety and standard of all buildings,
- To directly assure the safety of higher-risk buildings;
- Improve the competence of people responsible for managing and
overseeing building work.
It will operate a new, more stringent set of rules for high-rise
residential buildings. The new set of rules, contained in the draft
Bill, will apply when buildings are designed, constructed and then
later occupied. At each of these 3 stages, it will be clear who is
responsible for managing the potential risks and what is required
to move to the next stage enabling a 'golden thread' of vital
information about the building to be gathered over its
When residents move into a building that falls under the new set
of rules, the building will need to be registered with the Building
Safety Regulator and apply for a Building Assurance Certificate.
The Accountable Person will need to conduct and maintain a safety
case risk assessment for the building and appoint a Building Safety
Manager to oversee it day to day.
Building inspectors who are responsible for signing buildings
off as safe for people to live in will also have to follow the new
rules and must register with the regulator.
The draft Bill will also give the Government new powers to
better regulate construction materials and products and ensure they
are safe to use.
Alongside the draft Building Safety Bill; the Government
have launched a second document - the Fire Safety Consultation, published by the Home
Taken together, measures in the draft Building
Safety Bill, the Fire Safety Bill, and the Fire Safety Order will
improve safety standards for residents of all blocks of flats of
all heights, not just high-rise buildings.
The draft Building Safety
- Strengthens the whole regulatory system for building safety;
ensuring greater accountability and responsibility for fire and
structural safety issues throughout the entire lifecycle of
buildings (design, construction, and occupation) within the scope
of a more stringent regime.
- Puts residents at the heart of the new regime, with a stronger
voice and better access to safety information about their building,
including a streamlined complaints process.
- Applies a new more stringent regime to all multi-occupied
residential buildings of 18m or more in height or more than six
storeys (whichever is reached first) and its scope can expand to
other multi-occupied buildings if the evidence base suggests it
- Protects the rights of homebuyers and holds developers to
account, with a requirement that developers of new build housing
belong to a New Homes Ombudsman to plug a gap in consumer
protection and help purchasers resolve the issues they find with
their new homes.
A copy of the draft Building Safety Bill can be
downloaded from the Parliamentary website
The Fire Safety
- Seeks to strengthen the existing Regulatory Reform (Fire
Safety) Order 2005 and improve compliance for all regulated
- Implements the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report
recommendations for multi-occupied residential buildings which
require a change in law.
- Seeks views on the effectiveness of the arrangements for
consultation and information sharing between building control
bodies and fire and rescue authorities in relation to building work
- alongside an overhaul the Fire Safety Order's supporting
A copy of the Fire Safety Consultation can be
downloaded from the Government website
The Building Safety
- Established by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the
new Regulator will be responsible for overseeing the new regime for
buildings in scope (18m and above or 6 storeys and above, whichever
threshold is reached first).
- Over the last six months the HSE has appointed lead Directors
tasked with creating the new regulator, developing new guidance
and ensuring readiness for the new system.
- The HSE will also begin recruitment of the first national Chief
Inspector of Buildings.
ARCH response to the draft Bill
ARCH has been in discussion with officials from the Housing
Ministry and will continue to engage with officials as the Bill
undergoes scrutiny over the coming months, before it is introduced