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March 2, 2023

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building safety

New Building Safety Regulator a ‘landmark moment for building safety’

Those responsible for the safety of high-rise residential buildings in England are urged to ‘be ready’ to register with the new Building Safety Regulator from April 2023. 

The Building Safety Regulator, established in response to the Grenfell Tower fire, aims to protect high-rise residents from unsafe building practices in England.

Under the Building Safety Act, high-rise residential buildings defined as ‘higher risk’ are:

  • 18 metres tall or higher
  • at least seven storeys, with two or more residential units

tower blockIn England there are approximately 12,500 of these buildings and the new regulator requires that all of them are registered from April 2023, with a named person responsible for maintaining their safety.

The Act introduces two new roles – accountable persons (AP) and principal accountable persons (PAP). It is the principal accountable person who will be required to register high-rise buildings within six months from April 2023.

A new campaign running from March will be aimed at owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings and will highlight their new legal duties.

“Crackdown on unsafe building practices”

The registration process is a ‘crucial stage’ in setting up the new building safety regime. Registering the buildings in scope will be a legal requirement and the HSE has said that those who fail to comply by October 2023 will be ‘investigated and may face prosecution’.

HSE Chief Executive Sarah Albon added: “This registration process is an important step towards building a safer future for residents of high-rise buildings. We want it to be clear where responsibility for safety in these buildings lies.

“As the Building Safety Regulator, we will draw from our experience to provide guidance and oversight for the industry and lay the foundation for a world-leading building safety regime, which is a part of our mission to protect people and places.”

Chief Inspector of Buildings Peter Baker said: “Our message is clear – industry must raise its standards and residents of high-rise buildings in England must be kept safe.

“This is a landmark moment for building safety, the information provided through registration will be an invaluable part of our crackdown on unsafe building practices. Those who are responsible for high-rise residential buildings must register; failure to do so will be against the law.”

HSE have said that the building registration is a ‘major step’ in a combination of measures to ensure high-rise residential buildings are safe for residents and users. This comes after the introduction of Planning Gateway One in August 2021 and which will be followed by more building control of high-rise developments, and the certification of occupied high-rise buildings by the new Regulator.

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