Government launches plans to restructure Building Regulations and building control following Building magazine campaign

The government has launched plans to modernise the Building Regulations, following pressure from the industry, led by Building magazine.

Angela Smith, minister for Building Regulations, this week published The Future of Building Control, outlining how the system can be improved.

Ideas in the paper include:

  • Moving away from a piecemeal approach to Building Regulations review and towards a longer fixed-term cycle with planned pauses and a clear indication of future changes
  • Providing greater enforcement powers for local authorities to tackle persistent offenders
  • Providing simple guidance that helps with specific building work or types of problems
  • Finding out how to make sure building control bodies are properly funded into the future.
Angela Smith
Smith: There is a clear case for reform of the building control system

The news marks a victory for Building, which launched the Reform the Regs campaign last year in response to industry's frustration with the system. The campaign highlighted the fact that building regulations authorties lack a clear vision of the future, have a piecemeal approach to regulatory change and issue over-complex guidance.

Smith said an overhaul of the regulations was essential. She said: “There is a clear case for reform of the building control system. Talks with stakeholders have proved very helpful in giving government a steer on the areas we need to modernise to make as effective and straightforward as it should be.”

Kate Barker, the Bank of England economist, also called for a fundamental review of the Building Regulations in her report on housing supply in 2004.

For a copy of the Future of Building Control, go to