New system will take some of the uncertainty out of the system

The Building Regulations will be reformed every three years from 2010, rather than on a random basis, if proposals to be published in the next few weeks are implemented.

The plan, which will form part of long-awaited guidance on Building Regulations will be welcomed by the industry as it will take some of the uncertainty out of the system.

A Whitehall source said: “The consultation last year asked whether they should be updating the regulations once every three to four years. Everyone who responded said it would be a bloody good idea, so it’d be inconceivable if they didn’t do it.”

Hazel Blears, communities secretary

It is understood that the proposals were heavily trailed at two industry advisory group meetings last week and that the plans are only awaiting a rubber-stamp from Hazel Blears, the communities secretary.

The source added: “The key part of this will be that only what needs to be changed will be. It won’t be a wholesale change of direction every three years.

“The fact that the government hasn’t done this before shows how ignorant it has been of the certainty that the industry needs from the regs system.”

The three-year timetable would match that agreed for updating Part L of the regulations in 2010, 2013 and 2016.

The consultation also asked whether contractors should be allowed to self-certify their schemes. It was feared that this would lead to the abolition of local authority building control departments, but it is now understood that this will now not happen.