Move to simplify building regs

17 Mar 2014

Local authorities will be able to choose whether to apply certain building regulations under reforms designed to make housing standards easier to understand, according to the Government.

Communities minister Stephen Williams said the "optional" regulations would only apply to certain parts of the country. He intends to make the "complicated" system much clearer and bring all the different housing standards together.

Among the regulations councils could be allowed to wave or enforce are water efficiency measures. It would provide flexibility for areas suffering water shortages and allow different standards to be applied to homes owned by elderly or disabled residents.

Also part of the reforms is a new national housing space standard and the removal of the need for new builds to undergo several checks, including planning authorities, Code for Sustainable Homes assessors, building control organisations, the Homes and Communities Agency and independent standard assessors.

The Code for Sustainable Homes will become a part of the government's building regulations and is expected to be in use by the end of the current Parliament in May next year.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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