Building Safety Act 2022 – End of the Transition Period

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A number of significant changes relating to the building regulations and building control processes came into force on 1 October 2023, but 6 April 2024 was a further pivotal date for the regulatory regime of all building work / projects as it marked the end of the final ‘‘transitional’’ period and implementation of the building control regime introduced by the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022).

To recap, BSA 2022 provided that some projects that were already underway as of 1 October 2023 would be exempt from some of the new rules if various conditions (discussed below) were achieved before 6 April 2024 in order for those projects to continue to be exempt from the new regulations and, most importantly, completed using the more familiar existing control process.

So, what if as of 6 April 2024:

  • An initial notice or deposit of full plans has not been submitted (and accepted) before 1 October 2023 or was rejected or lapsed since and therefore were not in force as of 6 April 2024;
  • Construction works of Higher-Risk Buildings (the buildings of at least 18 metres or 7 storeys which contain at least two residential units or are hospitals or care homes) were not ‘‘sufficiently progressed’’ and the Local Authority has been notified of the same before or on 6 April 2024. Or in case of construction work of Non-Higher Risk Buildings – the works have not ‘‘started’’ before 6 April 2024; and
  • Where the work was overseen by an approved inspector, the inspector has not applied for registration as a Registered Building Control Approver before 6 April 2024.

The position is rather blunt – a hard stop as of 6 April 2024 is applied to all building work / projects that were not able to meet the set requirements in time. Therefore, the works will now transfer to the jurisdiction of the Building Safety Regulator, as its building control authority, and will require to comply with the new “duty holder” Regulations. The three-stage Gateway approval system will also be kicking in to ensure that scrutinized and careful consideration is given to building safety risks at each stage of its design, construction, completion and occupation.

If your project / building work are now out of the exempted regime, then as a next step, you are required to notify the Building Safety Regulator by making a new building control application as soon as possible and without any delay. To facilitate the transfer and ensure it is as smooth as possible, a dialogue and active engagement with the Building Safety Regulator is encouraged. It is also of note that Building Safety Regulator’s enforcement policy statement warns that those who are not engaging with the new regulatory regime will likely be the targets of any regulatory activity. Therefore, the parties’ cooperation should be a key to ensure that any delays are avoided, and transition is without any unexpected hurdles.

The 6 April 2024 changes will therefore have significant impacts on ongoing and new projects and businesses, so clients will need to ensure they have given themselves enough time and sought professional advice to understand the new building control regime and requirements they will be facing.

This article is for general purpose and guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be taken before acting on any of the topics covered. No part of this article may be used, reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means without the prior permission of Brecher LLP.