Hackitt Review recommendations to be taken up in full, says government
The UK government has announced that it will implement all of the recommendations made for the building industry by Dame Judith Hackitt in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Hackitt’s report, the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, was published in May this year, and in its long-awaited response the government said it was “creating a stronger and more effective regulatory framework to improve building safety.”
It has also pledged to:
- Introduce clearer standards and guidance, including establishing a new Standards Committee to advise on construction product and system standards and regulations
- Put residents at the heart of the new system of building safety, empowering them with more effective routes for engagement and redress
- Help to create a culture change and a more responsible building industry, from design, through to construction and management
Major players trialling recommendations
A Joint Regulators Group will be set up to trial parts of a new regulatory system before any new legislation. Barratt and Kier are among the ‘early adopters’ who have already signed up to test the Hackitt recommendations.
A ban on combustible cladding, announced in September, comes into force on 21 December over 18 months after the fire in west London that killed 72 people. An industry-led drive called ‘100% Hackitt’ was recently started to encourage the government to carry out the report’s proposals.
“There is nothing more important than being safe in your own home and I am determined to improve building safety,” said James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Communities.
“My plan for stronger, tougher rules will make sure there is no hiding place for those who flout building safety rules.”
“By making people responsible and more accountable for safety, we will create a more rigorous system so residents will always have peace of mind that they are safe in their own homes.”
Reaction and analysis
The announcement drew a cautious welcome from Jane Duncan of the Royal Institute of British Architects, who said, “We are pleased to see that the government will require proper testing of fire safety products rather than relying on desktop studies, and that they are planning substantial and comprehensive reform to the regulatory and accountability framework.”
Grenfell United insisted that, “The plan to work with existing industry regulators must only be a temporary step to identify, remediate and keep people safe in their homes. Ultimately we need a fully independent regulatory body, with effective sanction and enforcement powers.”
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