The Scottish Building Standards Agency will be merged into a new body as SNP fulfills promise to cut number of quangoes

The Scottish Building Standards Agency – the body in charge of drawing up building regulations and supporting guidance in Scotland – is to be merged into a new government body that will bring planning, architecture and building standards under one roof.

The surprise move was announced by First minister for Scotland Alex Salmond as part of plans to reduce the number of government bodies in Scotland and to reduce public sector costs and bureaucracy.

The new body will be known as the Directorate of the Built Environment, however under the plans the Building Standards Advisory Committee, which keeps a watching eye on the building control system and reports to ministers on aspects that need attention because of developments in the industry, will be abolished.

According to a Scottish Government spokesperson. “The need for industry wide advice is not in dispute and the issue is how best to deliver this in the longer term and we will liaise with BSAC and others to ensure that robust and effective arrangements are in place”.

The BSAC will continue in its present form until its legal basis is removed, which will most likely be at the end of the current financial year. There will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the merger.