MPs raise concerns over Hackitt building regs review
A leading group of MPs has raised concerns about aspects of Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations and fire safety.
The chair of the communities and local government committee, Clive Betts has written to Dame Hackitt, calling on her to reconsider her view that the review should not examine the current regime for testing domestic electrical appliances.
The letter also urges her to also undertake an examination of Part P of the building regulations.
Dame Judith appeared in front of the committee in December to discuss her interim report, which was published shortly before Christmas.
The report called for a culture change, with industry taking greater responsibility for what is built and a clear, quick and effective route for residents to raise concerns.
She subsequently wrote to Mr Betts earlier this month about the review.
But in a letter published yesterday (30 January), Mr Betts said the committee was “somewhat disappointed” with a “number of aspects” of her response.
“In your letter, you said that the independent review would not consider the current regime for testing domestic electrical appliances, as this fell outside the terms of reference of the review,” wrote Mr Betts.
“This is disappointing, especially in the context of your comments during the evidence session, when you told the committee that you ‘could certainly give it consideration’.”
Mr Betts added it is “unfortunate” that such an important issue, particularly in the context of the Grenfell Tower fire has been “so quickly dismissed”.
“I want to emphasise again the view that it cannot be right to continue to permit the use of combustible materials on the external cladding of high-rise buildings, and that therefore some elements of prescription would seem absolutely necessary in any future regulatory system,” wrote Mr Betts.
“To this end, I would also be interested to know what consideration you gave to including in your interim report recommending more immediate action on either the removal of such cladding or prevention of its use on tower blocks in the future.”
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