Biggest changes to building safety ‘in a generation’

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced steps to further reform the building safety system with the biggest changes in a generation to ensure residents are safe in their homes.

New measures, which include mandatory sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage in all new high-rise blocks of flats over 11 metres tall, are designed to incentivise compliance and to better enable the use of enforcement powers and sanctions, including prosecution where the rules are not followed.

Jenrick will hold a roundtable with mortgage lenders to work on an agreed approach to mortgage valuations for properties in buildings under 18 metres tall, providing certainty for owners affected by vital building safety work.

He has also appointed independent construction expert David Hancock to review the progress of unsafe ACM claddings from buildings.

Jenrick said: “The government is bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation. Today we have made a major step towards this by publishing our response to the Building a Safer Future consultation. This new regime will put residents’ safety at its heart, and follows the announcement of the unprecedented £1 billion fund for removing unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings in the Budget.

“We are also announcing that the housing industry is designing a website so lenders and leaseholders can access the information needed to proceed with sales and re-mortgaging, and the government stands ready to help to ensure this work is completed at pace. Building safety is a priority and the government is supporting industry in ensuring homes are safe at this difficult time.”

The announcement follows the recent introduction of the Fire Safety Bill.