Building Safety Update

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written statement – made on 20 April 2023.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Minister for Intergovernmental Relations

This Government is transforming the built environment through a culture of safety and high standards. The Building Safety Act 2022 brought into law far-reaching reforms that give residents and homeowners more rights, powers and protections across the country.

We recognise the historic failings in the system by which construction products were tested, assured and made available for sale. We have seen the tragic evidence of that all too clearly. To consider those failings in more detail, we commissioned an Independent Review of Construction Product Testing from Paul Morrell OBE and Anneliese Day KC, which has been published today.

I would like to thank the reviewers for the comprehensive and thorough assessment of the current system and for their report and recommendations. We recognise that more needs to be done and are carefully considering the recommendations put forward by the independent reviewers.

The Government is committed to ensuring the testing regime for construction products is effective and inspires public and market confidence. It must be based on high standards and complete transparency. People must be assured that products used on their homes and other buildings are safe, and have been proved to be so; that they are used correctly and appropriately at every stage from design, installation, use, and even to disposal; and that those who manufacture and work with them are competent professionals. Those who try to misrepresent or misuse their products or mislead their customers must be sure that they will be found out and held to account.

I will also consider how our regulatory regime can ensure that only responsible businesses can make and sell construction products. It is unacceptable that cladding and insulation manufacturers have neither acknowledged their part in the legacy of unsafe buildings in the United Kingdom, nor contributed to the cost of remediating buildings.

To deliver the change we need, I will set out our proposals for reform of the UK’s construction product regime in due course, building on the work of this review. Nothing is off the table as we consider this new regime, and I welcome contributions from all who share our goal of a safer built environment.

A copy of the Independent Review will be deposited in the House Libraries.