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MPs call for more detail on Building Safety Bill

A cross-party group of MPs has warned there are significant gaps in the government’s new Building Safety Bill.

A new report by the housing, communities and local government select committee warns the proposed legislation fails to provide sufficient protection against leaseholders paying the bill for work to remedy existing fire safety defects.

The committee also found an over-emphasis on as yet unpublished secondary legislation and regulation left significant gaps in how the new regime would operate in practice.

And it has called on the government to provide much more detail when it publishes the final Building Safety Bill and remove any doubt on the scope of the legislation and the responsibilities on building operators.

The report recommends greater oversight of key professions in the construction and building management sectors, including new roles created by the bill.

The bill should also require building safety managers, as well as other professions involved in the design and construction of high-risk buildings, be subject to national accreditation and registration standards.

‘As it stands, there are still questions over how the broad framework set out in the draft bill will operate in practice,’ said committee chair, Clive Betts.

‘Key definitions remain unclear and responsibilities ill-defined. Before they bring the legislation back to the House of Commons these areas must be addressed in full.

‘The government must also bring an end to the ongoing uncertainty around who will pay the cost for the historic failures in the building safety regime. Leaseholders should not be expected to foot the bill for failures that were not of their making,’ added Mr Betts.

In response a spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: Our Building Safety Bill will implement the biggest improvements to the building regulatory system in almost 40 years – ensuring residents are safer in their homes.

‘The committee’s report recognises the Bill’s wide support from stakeholders and its vital importance in raising standards. We are looking at developing affordable solutions where needed and will provide more details in due course.’

Photo Credit – Free-Photos (Pixabay)

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