Building regulations minister Andrew Stunell has shocked builders by saying he wants to bring the planned revision of the Building Regulations forward by a year to 2012

The Liberal Democrat minister has instructed civil servants to check the feasibility of moving the 2013 Part L review forward a year.

It will introduce a lot of uncertainty, particularly for materials producers

Simon Rawlinson

Stunell made the announcement last week during a speech at an evening reception for the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes.

Simon Rawlinson, senior partner at Davis Langdon, said bringing forward the next revision by a year would introduce a lot of uncertainty, with reviews increasing the cost of construction.

Rawlinson said, “Achieving the next iteration by 2013 was going to be challenging enough. This will introduce a lot of uncertainty into the industry, particularly for materials producers, who rely on the figures to plan forward investment.”

He added that the change could have an impact on new schemes. “If you only have two years to buy a site and design the scheme, it might make people more nervous about the earlier stages of development opportunity.”

The communities department previously said the regulations would be updated at fixed intervals, with Part L due every three years starting from 2010 and all other regulations every six years. This followed pressure from Building’s Reform the Regs campaign to help the industry plan for regulatory changes.

The news comes as the communities department confirmed this week that this year’s planned Part L revision was still awaiting approval from the government’s Reducing Regulation Committee. Nevertheless, Stunell maintained the 2010 revision to Part L would take effect from October this year.