Policy update from CE National – October 6th 2023
Rishi Sunak gives closing speech at Conservative Party Conference
Rishi Sunak’s closing speech announced the scrapping of HS2 north of Birmingham, with the £36 billion saved to be reinvested into a ‘Network North’ which will focus on other new transport projects across the North and Midlands. These will include electrified train lines between Sheffield and Manchester, Leeds and Hull, funding for the Midlands Rail Hub, a new station at Bradford, money to fix potholes and protecting the £2 bus fare cap. Sunak also announced The Advanced British Standard, a new qualification that will combine A Levels and T-Levels and will require students to study five subjects including Maths and English until they are 18.
Further details on the Network North Proposals are available here: Network North – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
£80 million released for home upgrades to help cut energy bills in social housing
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has announced the release of £80 million for social housing tenants. This comes from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and will give 9,500 social housing tenants grants to make their homes warmer and more energy efficient. It is predicted this additional funding will lower bills by £240 a year on average, and that 2,000 jobs will be supported by the installation process of these energy efficiency upgrades.
Long-Term Plan for Towns released, setting out investment to regenerate 55 towns
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has released its plan for the long-term regeneration of 55 towns across the UK. This includes the £80 million of investment in four Welsh towns, and £140 million across seven Scottish towns.
Biodiversity Roadmap Consultation Launched
The CLC’s Biodiversity and Environmental Net Gain Working Group’s (a workstream of the Green Construction Board) consultation on its Biodiversity Roadmap. The roadmap aims to ensure that more nature is embedded in the built environment and that the agenda moves from biodiversity net gain to environmental gain.
The consultation document and the accompanying thought piece can be accessed via this link: https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/news/biodiversity-roadmap-consultation-launched/
Publication of New Fire Safety Guidance
The Home Office have published 2 new pieces of fire safety guidance.
- Fire Safety Order: enforcement and sanctions for non-compliance
The guide explains how the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (as amended) (FSO) is enforced and advises of the sanctions that are available to Enforcing Authorities if you fail to comply with this legislation.
More information can be found here.
- A guide for persons with duties under fire safety legislation
This guidance will help you to find out whether you are a Responsible Person or Duty Holder under the FSO and what responsibilities you have for fire safety. More information about this can be found here.
Building Control for Higher-Risk Buildings
On 1st October, the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) became the Building Control Authority for all higher-risk buildings (HRBs) in England.
This means that developers will no longer be able to choose the building control body they use for building new residential buildings that are over 18-metres or 7 storeys and hospitals and care homes that meet the same height threshold.
Developers must also apply to the BSR for building control approval before starting building work on any projects involving HRBs.