Authors

Rona Westgate

Senior Knowledge Lawyer

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Matthew Jones

Partner

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Authors

Rona Westgate

Senior Knowledge Lawyer

Read More

Matthew Jones

Partner

Read More

28 March 2024

Building Safety Act regime transition 6 April deadline

  • Quick read

The new regulatory regime for higher-risk buildings came into force on 1 October 2023 and from that date the Building Safety Regulator became the building control authority for higher-risk buildings, subject to transitional arrangements.

As we noted in The Building Safety Act 2022, 6 April 2024 is a key date in the transition to the new regime, as it brings to an end the six month transition period. The 6 April also marks the implementation of the new building control regime, with the introduction of registered building control approvers (in place of the approved inspector), and registered building inspectors; and the date when the new duty-holder requirements become fully operational.

Set out below is a brief summary and a reminder of the steps that need to have been taken for ongoing projects to stay within the transitional arrangements so that the project can be completed using the more familiar existing building control process.

Transitional Arrangements: higher-risk buildings

In summary, for those ongoing higher-risk projects to continue to benefit on or after 6 April 2024 from the transitional arrangements, for a particular higher-risk building:

  • An initial notice must have been submitted or full plans deposited (and not rejected) before 1 October 2023; and the initial notice must remain in force on 6 April 2024.
  • The building work must be sufficiently progressed by 6 April 2024.
  • The person carrying out the works must have notified the local authority five days after the point where the work is sufficiently progressed, and in any event before 6 April 2024 (a notice of sufficient progress).
  • Where the work is being overseen by an approved inspector, the approved inspector must have registered as a registered building control approver by 6 April 2024. 

What does sufficiently progressed mean?

For the construction of a new higher-risk building, "sufficiently progressed" means the start of placement of permanent foundations (trench, pad or raft) or the start of piling.

For building work to an existing higher-risk building or works to effect a material change of use, the building work is sufficiently progressed when the work has "started". The precise meaning of started is less clear but it is likely to be the carrying out of any element of permanent notifiable building work. 

What if works are not sufficiently progressed by 6 April 2024?

If no notice of sufficient progress is given and the works are not sufficiently progressed by 6 April 2024 or the approved inspector has failed to register as a building control approver then the works will transfer to the jurisdiction of the Building Safety Regulator, and the initial notice will cease to have effect. The Building Safety Regulator must be notified and a new building control application should be made to the Building Safety Regulator. A dialogue with the Building Safety Regulator is encouraged at this point to facilitate the transfer to the Building Safety Regulator. Projects will also need to comply with the new dutyholder regime as the transitional period for that regime also comes to an end on 6 April 2024.

Change to registered building control approver

As noted above, one of the changes is the transfer of building control functions from approved inspectors to registered building control approvers, and the introduction of registered building inspectors. There has been concern within the industry as to whether there will be a sufficient number of registered building professionals by 6 April 2024. In an announcement designed to help the industry, the HSE has stated that there will be an extension to the competence assessment period for registered building inspectors of 13 weeks to 1 July 2024, provided that registration by 6 April 2024 is met and certain other criteria fulfilled. This means that registered building inspectors will still need to register by the 6 April, but will have an extended period in which they can evidence their competency. 

However, this announcement makes no reference to building control approvers; and as a consequence, for on-going higher-risk buildings which are being overseen by an approved inspector, the approved inspector is still required to register as a registered building control approver by 6 April 2024 to remain within the existing building control process.

 

Comment

This is a high-level reminder of the end of the transition period. The precise route to transfer to the Building Safety Regulator for on-going projects will of course depend on a number of criteria, including whether the initial notice has lapsed or is cancelled. If you require advise on a specific issue please contact your usual Taylor Wessing contact or Matthew Jones.

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