Clive Betts responds to the Government’s announcement on Building Regulations

18 December 2012

Responding to the Government's announcement today on Building Regulations, Clive Betts Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee said:

"I share the Government's view that Part P of the Building regulations has been a success. When the Committee looked at Building Regulations earlier this year it was clear that all electrical works carried out in areas of higher risk such as kitchens, bathrooms and gardens should not be taken out of the Regulations.

I am concerned that exemptions in areas of higher risk could potentially put lives in danger.  Rather than streamline Part P, the Government may now introduce a confusing, additional, layer of complexity with some works in kitchens and bathrooms outside the Regulations and other works inside. It would make more sense to have all works in riskier areas squarely within the Building Regulations."

He continued

"I welcome the Government's intention to adopt the Committee’s recommendation to permit 'lower cost' certification of electrical works through the use of a third party. It’s preferable to do that rather than remove certain works from regulation all together.

Where the system could be simplified is in the inspection arrangements.  It is disappointing that the three organisations responsible for approving the Competent Person Schemes—NICEIC, NAPIT and ELECSA—have not been able to work together to produce a single registration scheme. It's confusing for all concerned, not least householders, to have three organisations delivering two schemes. I have written to all three to voice these concerns. If they don't get their act together quickly the Committee may well call them in to explain."

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