Government claims bill will prompt biggest overhaul in building regulations for 40 years

A draft bill aiming to prompt the biggest overhaul in building safety regulations for nearly 40 years has been published by the government.

The Building Safety Bill, which runs to 334 pages, has been drawn up in a bid to prevent a disaster like the 2017 Grenfell fire, which killed 72 people, from ever happening again.

The new laws, published in draft form, will see a Building Safety Regulator established to enforce a much more stringent set of safety rules for all buildings higher than 18m or six storeys from the design phase right through to occupation. This will include new duties on clients, contractors and designers to ensure buildings meet building regulations, and the introduction of a phased “gateway” approach under which the regulator will check that building meet standards.

Grenfell Tower wrapped


The laws will aim to prevent a disaster like the Grenfell tower fire from happening again

Housing minister Robert Jenrick, who was due to announce the draft bill in parliament this afternoon, said in a statement: “I am calling on the industry to actively prepare for these changes now.

“It is vital that the sector moves in step with us, to provide confidence and reassurance to residents that their safety is firmly at the heart of everything we do.”

A consultation setting out proposals to implement the recommendations of the first phase of the Grenfell tower inquiry will also be published today.

It will look at ramping up fire safety across all regulated buildings in England which, combined with the Building Safety Bill, will aim to improve safety in buildings of all heights.

Fire safety minister Lord Greenhalgh said that the new laws would provide a secure grip on building safety across the entire industry: “Building owners [will] have nowhere to hide if they break the rules.”

Judith Hackitt, whose review into building safety after the Grenfell fire forms the basis of the new laws, has given the bill her approval: “It meets the ambitions and recommendations set out in my review.”

The bill will now come under a period of pre-legislative scrutiny over the summer which could see amendments added, before being brought to parliament in the autumn.