As many of you will no doubt be aware on October 1st, 2023, the Building Regulations will be subject to one of its biggest revisions for many years. Although many of the changes relate to high-risk high rise residential buildings, there is a fundamental shift in emphasis on the role of the client, their agent and Building Control with the introduction of very clear requirements regarding duty holders and competence.
For all building projects subject to a building notice or application Building Control approval with full plans, no matter how small, the client will now be required to make suitable arrangements for planning, managing, and monitoring a project throughout its run so as to ensure compliance with The Building Regulations. In order to do this, they must appoint a Principal contractor and a Principal designer who are competent to undertake the work in accordance with regulation 11F and 11G and provide full details of those appointed to Building Control and of any subsequent changes in these roles. If they fail to do so the designer in control of the design phase of the project will automatically become the principal designer and the contractor in control of the construction phase of the project will become the principal contractor. The specific duties of these parties are set out in Chapter 4 of the regulations, and it is strongly recommended that you are familiar with duties.
The changes also require the submission of additional information when giving an application for building control approval with full plans (formerly referred to as a full plans application) and for this reason we will be temporarily suspending the use of our online application portal. Details of these changes can be found in Regulation 14 and include but are not limited to the following:-
- Full details of the applicant, client, and principal designer
- The height of the building and number of storeys before and after the work
- Details of the current and intended use of each storey.
- a statement setting out - (aa) the date when it is proposed the work will reach the point when it is to be regarded as commenced in accordance with regulation 46A (lapse of building control approval: commencement of work and - (bb) where the work does not consist of work to which paragraph (2) or (3) of regulation 46A applies, details of the work which the client considers amounts to 15% of the proposed work.
There are also changes in statutory time limits relating to decision dates which can now be between a minimum of 5 weeks and any time agreed in writing. There are additional requirements surrounding the commencement of work and additional information that will need to be submitted on completion of works this includes but is not limited to.
- names and contact details of the client, principal designer, and principal contractor
- a statement, signed by the client, confirming that to the best of the client’s knowledge the work complies with all applicable requirements of the building regulations;
- a statement, signed, from all principal contractors and principal designers involved in the project, with dates and details of which aspects of work they are/were responsible for that they fulfilled their duties under Part 2A of the regulations.
There are similar requirements relating to commercial buildings that are to be occupied prior to completion.
The above is only a very limited summary of some of the new provisions and is by no means exhaustive. In order to gain a greater understanding, it is recommended you review the full guidance linked below and discuss how best you approach them within your own legal advisors, professional organisations and peer groups