Group set up to streamline building standards
The government has formed an industry-wide group to spearhead the slashing of regulatory red tape around building standards.
Around 15 parties are thought to have been tasked with rationalising existing standards on top of Building Regulations such as the code for sustainable homes, lifetime homes and Homes and Communities Agency design indicators.
The government is expected to announce next week that it wants to relieve the regulatory burden on house builders and developing associations by stripping out overlapping build standards.
Many in the house building industry complain that there is considerable duplication which adds bureaucracy and extra development costs.
On Tuesday, groups thought to include the National Housing Federation, the Local Government Association, the Home Builders Federation and the Royal Institute of British Architects met for the first time to discuss how building regulations could be streamlined.
A spokesperson from the Communities and Local Government department said the announcement would be made ‘shortly’.
The move comes in response to the publication of a government commissioned report in to local standards delivery in June by the Local Housing Delivery Group headed up by Sir John Harman which called for the harmonisation of building standards.
The report concluded: ‘There is an urgent need for the rationalisation of the large number of standards applying to new house-building as well as the compliance regimes around these standards.’
It also follows government attempts to strip-out red tape from the planning system by last week appointing Lord Matthew Taylor to carry out a review of 6,000 pages of planning guidance which the coalition wants streamlined.
In November 2010 then housing minister, Grant Shapps, pledged ‘to end the “alphabet soup” of local building standards and red tape that blight efforts to get developments started, and sweep away the bureaucratic assessment regimes that accompany them’.
Both the Welsh Government and Northern Irish Government have proposed to scrap the code for sustainable homes.