Paul Nash, construction consultant for Jansons Property, warns the property industry needs to be aware of new safety requirements.

At the end of April, the Building Safety Bill, which had its first reading in Parliament in July last year, received Royal Assent.

The Building Safety Act 2022 introduces a new regulatory regime for building safety overseen by a Building Safety Regulator with powers of enforcement and sanctions. It includes statutory duties for those who commission, design, construct, own and manage higher risk buildings and introduces a system of gateway approvals during design and construction with a safety case in occupation.

The Act incorporates the recommendations of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety that was led by Dame Judith Hackitt in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and represents the most significant change in building safety legislation in a generation.

This is primary legislation and much of the detail about how the Act will operate in practice will require secondary legislation. But several draft statutory instruments covering some of the key parts of the legislation, such as the duty holder roles and definition of higher risk buildings, have already been published and are available to download from the Government website.

The Building Safety Regulator has been established within the Health & Safety Executive and is currently building the operational capability and capacity to undertake its functions under the Act with effect from April next year.

It is worthwhile noting that the regulator will become the building control authority for higher risk buildings and is already a consultee under Planning Gateway One, which was introduced in August last year to ensure that developers consider fire safety at the planning stage.

It is maybe a sign of things to come that the regulator recently announced that it had raised concerns on over half of all planning applications that it was required to be consulted on.

The message is clear. The Building Safety Act is law and the industry needs to understand its responsibilities and act now to ensure that there is never another Grenfell Tower fire.

© Thames Tap (powered by

Sign up to receive your free weekly Thames Tap journal here.