Government names group to simplify building regs
The government has confirmed members of an industry-wide group charged with simplifying building regulations and housing standards.
Panel members leading the project are Andy Von Bradsky, an architect, Paul Watson, a planner, Kirk Archibald, a developer, and David Clemants, who specialises in building control.
The group will also look at housing standards, including the code for sustainable homes, secured by design and lifetime homes.
It will report spring next year on which elements of current building regulations and housing standards it thinks should be scrapped.
The government has also approached 16 member organisations to influence a review of housing standards specifically, including the National Housing Federation and the Planning Officers’ Society. The review will be led by the Communities and Local Government department and will look at housing standards including construction of stairs and the provision of drying space.
This is part of the government’s so-called red tape challenge, launched by the prime minister in April 2011 and aimed at looking at 6,500 existing regulations surrounding building to scrap or reduce as many as possible.
Communities minister Don Foster said: ‘I want to see a simpler set of housing standards that people can easily understand and that free up developers and councils to get on with the job of building the high quality new homes we so badly need to get more first time buyers and families onto the housing ladder.’
The review was first announced in the government’s housing and growth strategy on 6 September.
Angela Brady, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, said: ‘Housing standards can and should be rationalised, to ensure they ae made more accessible and easier to use. However, whilst rationalisation is important, is it critical that consumers are protected and that homes are fit-for-purpose for people, as well as viable for developers.’