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09 April 2020
Whilst the Grenfell Inquiry has been paused due to Covid-19, ministers have announced another overhaul of building regulation with the aim to improve fire safety. `The measures, which will apply to all new builds over 11 metres, come as part of a wider government initiative to improve fire safety following the tragic Grenfell Tower. This new fire safety programme comes a month after Rishi Sunak announced £1bn to remove all types of dangerous cladding with the new Building Safety Fund.
‘’Publishing a raft of announcements on fire safety, including the government’s response to its consultation on the creation of a whole new system of fire safety regulation, housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the new regime will apply to all buildings of six storeys or more, even when they are below 18m in height. The government has stated this new programme will be governed by a new Building Safety Regulator that will be initially led by Dame Judith Hackitt during the set up phase, who will be tasked with improving the fire safety of buildings with the regulators new ‘beefed up’ powers.
‘Jenrick also said the ministry will in May effectively ensure the installation of sprinklers on all residential buildings above 11m in height via an amendment to Approved Document B, the building regulations guidance which covers fire safety.’
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the plan along with further reforms to the building safety system are the biggest changes in a generation and he added this “new regime will put residents’ safety at its heart”. What’s more, the government have stated that this programme would evolve in “in due course, extend to include other premises, based on emerging risk evidence.”