Clause 30 - Higher-risk buildings etc

Part of Building Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 21st September 2021.

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Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 2:00 pm, 21st September 2021

The amendments relate to Welsh Government Ministers. They provide the Welsh Ministers with the necessary flexibility to define “building” for the purposes of proposed new section 120I of the Building Act 1984, to be inserted by clause 30 of the Bill. This is the same power as the Secretary of State has for England in new section 120D(4)(a) and (5). New section 120I contains a power for the Welsh Ministers to define “higher-risk building”. The additional power for the Welsh Ministers to define “building”, provided for by amendment 17, will ensure that Welsh Ministers can add clarity to the definition of “higher-risk building” as required.

Amendment 36 makes the power for the Welsh Ministers to define “higher-risk building” subject to the affirmative action procedure, but the power to define “building” under new section 120I(4) will be subject to the negative procedure, which mirrors the position in England. Amendment 37 disapplies for the purposes of new section 120I the definition of “building” that exists in section 121 of the 1984 Act. Again, this mirrors the position in England as regards new section 120D.

As the Committee may have gathered, these are important, although technical, amendments to ensure that Welsh Ministers have the necessary power to provide a clear definition of the types of structures that can be captured by the definition of “higher-risk building” and therefore subject to the more stringent building control regime provided for by part 3 of the Bill, which will be reached in due course.