Section: Building & Regeneration

New regulator established to ensure construction materials are safe

Posted 19.01.21
GOV.UK: Further reading

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that residents will be protected through the establishment of a national regulator which will ensure materials used to build homes will be made safer.

The regulator for construction products will have the power to remove any product from the market that presents a significant safety risk and prosecute any companies who flout the rules on product safety.

This follows recent testimony to the Grenfell Inquiry that shone a light on the dishonest practice by some manufacturers of construction products.

The regulator will have strong enforcement powers, including the ability to conduct its own product-testing when investigating concerns.

Businesses must ensure that their products are safe before being sold in addition to testing products against safety standards.

This marks the next major chapter in the overhaul of regulatory systems. The progress on regulatory reform includes the publication of a draft Building Safety Bill and a new Building Safety Regulator that is already up and running in shadow form.


'Right to Regenerate' to turn derelict buildings into homes and community assets

Posted 16.01.21
GOV.UK: Further reading

The public will be able to convert vacant plots of land and derelict buildings into new homes or community spaces, under plans announced by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick.

The 'Right to Regenerate' proposals would make it easier to challenge councils and other public organisations to release land for redevelopment.

Underused public land could be sold to individuals or communities by default, unless there is a compelling reason the owner should hold onto it.

Under the proposals, public bodies would need to have clear plans for land in the near future, even if only a temporary use before later development - if the land is kept for too long without being used, they would be required to sell it.

These measures provide an opportunity for the public and local communities to redevelop and transform eyesores, taking control of unused local land or buildings and transforming them into something they want in their area.

These rights would also apply to unused publicly owned social housing and garages providing opportunities to transform the local housing stock.

The latest figures show there were over 25,000 vacant council owned homes and over 100,000 empty council-owned garages last year.

The new process will be fast and simple, and the Secretary of State will act as an arbiter to ensure fairness and speedy outcomes in all cases.


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Updated 26.01.21

The Guardian: Construction material shortages could delay UK housebuilding


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Reporting on January 2021

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