The New Building Safety Regime in Wales

David Hills
Posted by David Hills on Mar 25, 2024 11:59:39 AM

News for Wales and Building Safety

The safety and security of residents within multi-occupied buildings have long been focal points for policymakers, particularly in the wake of tragic events such as the Grenfell Tower fire in London. However, little has been announced regarding its application in Wales.  

New Regime for Wales 
While England is progressing with the implementation of the Building Safety Act 2022, seven months after the public sector watchdog in Wales warned that the absence of a national framework for building safety is leaving local authorities in a poor position to deliver change, to the point of potentially being unlawful, the Welsh Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, recently announced that the building safety regime in Wales will encompass all buildings containing two or more homes, setting a broad and inclusive standard for safety across the country, irrespective of height. 

Unlike its English counterpart, the Welsh regime will not discriminate based on the height of the building, demonstrating a comprehensive approach to ensuring the safety of residents. 

Crucially, the development of this regime has been a collaborative effort, with input from a wide range of stakeholders including tenants, homeowners, housing chairs, and local authorities. This inclusive approach, therefore, hopes to ensure that the concerns and perspectives of those directly affected by building safety standards are taken into account. 

Cladding Focus 
One of the key focuses of the Building Safety Programme in Wales is addressing both external cladding issues and internal fire safety concerns. This holistic approach recognises the multifaceted nature of building safety and aims to provide comprehensive protection for residents. 

To further strengthen the framework, the Welsh government has commissioned an economic examination, including a cost-benefit analysis, of the proposed measures. This rigorous assessment will help ensure that the building safety regime is not only effective but also sustainable in the long term. 

Building Safety (Wales) Bill 
In line with the UK government's commitment to accountability, the Building Safety (Wales) Bill, which will be published during the current Senedd's term, it is understood, will establish clear lines of responsibility for duty holders involved in the management and ownership of multi-occupied residential buildings. This includes imposing statutory duties to ensure compliance with safety standards and protocols. 

Furthermore, efforts are underway to support developers in addressing fire safety issues, including reaching out to smaller developers who may require assistance in covering the costs of necessary works. For buildings where the developer is no longer viable or identifiable, the government will assume responsibility, ensuring that no residents are left unprotected. 

The establishment of a joint inspection team to support local authorities and fire and rescue services demonstrates a proactive approach to identifying and addressing potential risks. By prioritising high-risk buildings and providing expert advice and guidance, this team will play a crucial role in enhancing building safety across Wales. 

The introduction of this new building safety regime in Wales marks a significant milestone in ensuring the safety and security of residents within multi-occupied buildings. With a comprehensive approach that encompasses all aspects of building safety, from cladding issues to internal fire safety measures, the Welsh government is extending the scope of buildings in an attempt to show that it is taking proactive steps to prevent future tragedies and create a safer living environment for all residents. 


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Topics: Safety Case, Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, High-Rise Residential Buildings, Responsible Persons, Grenfell Tower, Fire Safety, Ark Workplace Risk, Building Safety Act 2022, Safety Management Systems, Safety Case Report, Resident Engagement, Charging Scheme