Statement from Robert Jenrick the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Robert Jenrick the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government made the following statement in both Houses yesterday:


“I updated the House today in an Oral Statement on the Government’s progress on building safety and set out this administration’s approach.  As set out in the Statement, I am consulting on changes to fire safety regulations for new-build blocks of flats.  We will seek to commit to requiring sprinkler systems as standard in a wider range of new flats.


We will also consult on requiring better signs and evacuation alert systems to support effective firefighting.  A link to the consultation document ‘Sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats’ is here and I will deposit copies of this consultation in the Library of the House.”


Linked to the statement is the Approved Document B consultation, with a summary of the responses made to the call for evidence last December being published. The new ‘sprinkler and wayfinding’ consultation will run from 5 September 2019 to 28 November 2019.


In addition it was announced a new Protection Board is being set-up by the Home Office and National Fire Chiefs Council to provide further reassurance to residents of high-risk residential blocks with the Communities Secretary making £10 million a year of funding. The Board will provide expert, tailored building checks and inspections, if necessary, on all high-risk residential buildings in England by 2021.


The idea is the Board will operate until a new building safety regulator is established to oversee the new regulatory regime for buildings and legislation on a new building safety regime is introduced.


We will be co-ordinating a response to the consultation by the Institute shortly.