Communities Minister Don Foster has launched a new independent group of building industry experts, tasked with simplifying the mass of rules imposed on developers and housebuilders, to make them easier to understand and follow.
As part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge, ministers have made clear they want to do everything possible to remove unnecessary burdens and bureaucracy imposed on developers to get much-needed new homes built, and support economic growth.
The current, complex system of building regulations and housing standards will be targeted by a new Independent Challenge Panel, which will consider how these requirements work together and what potential there is to free up the system and make it work more efficiently.
The panel will for the first time bring independent experts together with Government and it will report to ministers in spring.
Building Industry expert Jonathan Cornes of JCA Chartered Building Surveyors said “The current system is complex and in some circumstances falls short of the current housing association standards, trade manufactures and self certification schemes. This review will hopefully speed up the development process and cut a lot of unnecessary red tape”.
Mr Foster also made clear that essential safety and accessibility protections will remain untouched and that homes will always need to be built to high sustainability and quality standards.
He added: “The current array of different housing standards used in different parts the country is complex and counter-productive: confusing local residents, councillors and developers.
“This is why an urgent review has now started, bringing the Government together with housebuilders, planners, councils, surveyors and architects to establish what the unnecessary measures are that we can cut out of the system, whilst ensuring buildings are still made to exacting standards.”