The Industry could be given another 12 months to implement the new Part L of the Building Regulations.

The legislation comes into effect in April but it is understood that, under an unprecedented period of grace, buildings can comply with the 2002 edition providing the scope of the scheme has been submitted to building control.

It is unclear how long this transitional period will last for but it believed that it may be six months or a year. The ODPM said the arrangements would be announced shortly.

To become eligible for this transitional period an application must be made before 6 April.

Previous arrangements had required full details of schemes to be submitted to Building Control and work to have started before the new regulations came into force.

John Tebbit, industry affairs director of the Construction Products Association, said: "If this is correct it would mean the ODPM has effectively delayed the implementation of new Part L for a year but politically John Prescott can stand up in the Commons and say it has been implemented."

Last week housing minister Yvette Cooper gave a further indication that the government is responding to Building's successful campaign to reform the Building Regulations.

Speaking at an Environment Audit Select Committee, she admitted the regulations were confusing and the ODPM needed to adopt a more efficient approach.

She said: "The way we do Building Regulations needs to be improved."