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Government to set up new regulator for oversight of high-risk buildings

The Government has unveiled plans for a new regulator to oversee the design, construction and occupation of high-risk buildings.

The Building Safety Regulator will be part of the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE will begin to establish the new regulator in shadow form immediately, ahead of it being fully established, following legislation.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, also said that in cases where there is no clear plan for remediation, the Government would work with local authorities to support them in their enforcement options against building owners.

The minister added that he plans from next month to start naming building owners where remediation has not started to remove unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding from their buildings.

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The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “While government action in this area has led to considerable progress to remove unsafe cladding, there are still some building owners who have been too slow to act.”

A consultation will be held on extending the ban on combustible materials to buildings below 18 metres and the Government will seek views on how risks are assessed within existing buildings to inform future policy.

Robert Jenrick said: “The government is committed to bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation.

“Progress on improving building safety needs to move significantly faster to ensure people are safe in their homes and building owners are held to account.”

The Government has meanwhile published consolidated advice on building safety for multi-storey, multi-occupied buildings. This was produced by an independent expert advisory panel.

The advice makes clear that building owners need to do more to address safety issues on residential buildings under 18 metres, the MHCLG said. “It additionally reflects the independent panel view that cladding material comprised of ACM (and other metal composites) with an unmodified polyethylene core should not be on residential buildings of any height and should be removed.”

A call for evidence will also be published, seeking views on the assessment of risks within existing buildings.

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