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Grenfell Tower - update on new measures

View profile for Daniel Sturman
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Grenfell Tower - update on new measures

This month, the government announced new measures to improve the safety of buildings in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster. The new measures are:

  • The creation of a Building Safety Regulator (“BSR”) to oversee the design and management of buildings. The BSR will sit within the Health and Safety Executive. It will focus on enforcing the new regime against high risk buildings. The BSR will also be able to enforce criminal penalties on building owners who do not abide by the new regime;
  • There will be a consultation on extending the ban on combustible cladding, which came into force in December 2018, to cover hotels and other buildings. The consultation will consider lowering the threshold of the ban to 11 metres, instead of 18, from ground level and to include solar shading products;
  • There will be updated guidance for building owners issued by the Independent Expert Advisors Panel to improve building safety;
  • The government has published its response to the Grenfell Tower public inquiry phase 1 report and the measures it is taking to implement the recommendations in that report;
  • The government is also calling for evidence for future research on fire safety risk in buildings. This research is aimed at assisting building owners on how they should prioritise risks in existing buildings.

Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary, announced in the House of Commons that building owners who fail to take sufficient measures to remove unsafe cladding from their buildings will be named. Local authorities will be supported by the government in their enforcement options, in cases where building owners have made no clear efforts to make the necessary changes.

Watch this space for further updates and developments.

I am a commercial real estate solicitor based in our Chelmsford office. I can be contacted on 01245 453811 or daniel.sturman@birkettlong.co.uk.

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