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New national building safety regulator to be set up

Dame Judith Hackitt has been named as the Government’s adviser on a new national Building Safety Regulator, providing independent advice on how best to establish the powerful new body.

A respected expert in building safety, Dame Judith Hackitt carried out the independent review into building regulation and fire safety that was set up after the deadly Grenfell Tower fire.

The Regulator will have the power to apply criminal sanctions to those flouting the new rules and will oversee the design and management of buildings, with a strong focus on ensuring the new regime for higher-risk buildings is enforced effectively and robustly.

‘I am grateful that Dame Judith has agreed to advise my department on the new Building Safety Regulator. Her expertise will be essential to forming a strong Regulator with teeth to ensure all residents are safe, and feel safe, in their homes both now and in the future,’ said Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing.

Dame Judith published her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety in May 2018 and the Government committed to take forward all of her recommendations.

The government published the consultation on its reforms, Building a Safer Future, in June 2019 and is currently analysing the responses.

The Government’s proposed new legislation will ensure building owners and developers prioritise residents’ safety over profit and will by providing clearer accountability for, and stronger duties on, those responsible for the safety of high rise buildings throughout design, construction and occupation.

It will also give residents a stronger voice in the system, ensuring their concerns are never ignored and they fully understand how they can contribute to maintaining safety in their buildings.

And it will strengthen enforcement and sanctions to deter non-compliance with the new regime in order to hold the right people to account as well as requiring that developers of new build homes must belong to a New Homes Ombudsman.