Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the Scottish Government took the swift decision to establish a Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety and Compliance and Enforcement to review Scotland's building and fire safety regulatory frameworks. As part of the Group's actions relating to Building Standards, two expert review panels were created. One to review building standards (Fire Safety) chaired by Dr Paul Stollard and the other on Compliance and Enforcement chaired by Professor John Cole. This consultation addresses the work and recommendations of the latter.
Recommendations from these reviews have already been implemented including controls over combustible cladding, improved escape, and strengthened guidance on roles and responsibilities of the person undertaking new building work were added to the Building Standards Procedural Handbook, published on 1 October 2019. The Building Standards Futures Board was established by the then Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Kevin Stewart, in order to provide guidance and direction on the development and implementation of the longer term recommendations made by the review panels.
As part of the Futures Board programme of work, a Compliance Plan Working Group was formed in 2020, comprising of a range of industry stakeholders, to direct the development of a new Compliance Plan approach to the building regulations.
In the wake of the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London and the collapse of the external brick wall at Oxgangs primary school in Edinburgh, we must ensure we reduce the risk of non-compliance in high risk building types which are within the scope of the policy change (e.g. schools, hospitals, large shops, high rise residential buildings) for the people of Scotland who will live in, and visit them.
I am grateful to the many panel members and Working Group members who gave their time and expert knowledge on how best to further improve compliance in buildings. I would also like to express my gratitude to the former Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Kevin Stewart, for his prior support and direction in moving this important work forward.
This consultation encompasses the recommendations made by the review panel in the report on Compliance and Enforcement, and seeks views on proposed changes to the building standards system in Scotland to provide greater assurance that the risk of non-compliance has been reduced.
I hope you will take this opportunity to give us your thoughts.
Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenant Rights
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