Planning, building and the environment

Building Regulations

Communities and Local Government is responsible for building regulations, which exist to ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings, and the energy effciency of buildings. The regulations apply to most new buildings and many alterations of existing buildings in England and Wales, whether domestic, commercial or industrial.

General public users and professional users can access building regulations guidance, including the Approved Documents and associated guidance from the Planning Portal at: www.planningportal.gov.uk (external link).

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The Future of Building Control
On 29 March 2007 Communities and Local Government published a short report on the Future of Building Control which outlines options for the future development of the Building Control System. A report of a study on Achieving Building Standards, carried out by Science Applications International Corporation on behalf of the Department has also been published.  

Building regulations and promotion of sustainability in buildings form a key part of the Department's Housing Green Paper published on 23 July 2007. The elements of the Green Paper that relate specifically to the area of Building regulations are set out below.

Energy efficiency for new dwellings
This publication outlines the issues that will need to be addressed in the forthcoming review of the Building Regulations energy efficiency requirements (Part L) for new dwellings that will support the aims expressed in the Housing Green Paper - Homes for the Future: More Affordable, More Sustainable.

Water efficiency Statement
The Housing Green Paper is also accompanied by a policy statement on how we intend to bring forward regulations for setting minimum standards for water efficiency in new buildings. This follows on from the widespread support for proposals that we consulted on in December 2006. See Analysis of Consultation Responses for Water Efficiency in New Buildings for more details.

Longer Time Limits for Prosecution of Breaches of Building Regulations: Summary of Responses
This document provides a summary of responses to a consultation on proposals to extend the time limits for prosecutions for breaches of the Building Regulations. One of the items on which consultation took place will go forward as a clause in the Housing and Regeneration Bill. The responses to the consultation support the clause in the Bill.

The Future of the Code for Sustainable Homes - Making a Rating Mandatory: Summary of Responses
This document provides a summary of responses to the July 2007 consultation on this proposal and sets out the Government's final policy. The principle message is that as a result of consultation, the Government will be proceeding with the implementation of mandatory rating against the Code for all new homes.

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