Housing: Construction

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 27th March 2007.

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Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry Conservative, Banbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

(1) what estimate she has made of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Amendment to the Building and Approved Inspectors (Amendment) Regulations 2006, New Edition of Approved Document F, to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators;

(2) what her most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Building (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2004 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators;

(3) what her most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2003 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators.

Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The Building (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2004 introduced part P of the Building Regulations (Electrical safety in dwellings) to help reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations. Prior to its introduction the Department produced a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) which estimated costs and benefits over a 10-year period, discounted at 3.5 per cent. to present value. The full RIA is available on this Department's website:

www.communities.gov.uk.

The estimated costs for part P are:

One off costs to businesses: negligible so not estimated

One off costs to regulators: negligible so not estimated

Recurring costs to businesses: £36.9 million per annum;

Recurring costs to building control bodies: £1.35 million per annum.

Over the 10-year period the RIA estimated the benefits from the reduction in deaths, injuries and fires as £475 million.

Amendment to the Building and Approved Inspectors (Amendment) Regulations 2006 and new edition of Approved Document F refer to the 2006 revisions of part L and Approved Document F of the Building Regulations. Part L deals with conservation of fuel and power, and Approved Document F gives technical guidance on ventilation of buildings. A regulatory impact assessment was carried out and is on the Department's website. It gives the following estimates of costs:

Part L
£ million
One off cost to business 10
One off cost to regulators 0.5
Recurring cost to business 1,084.9
Recurring cost to regulators 0.05

The total cumulative saving over the lifetime of the Part L measures was estimated at £1,531.5 million.

Approved Document F
£ million
One off cost to business 4.75
One off cost to regulators 0.56
Recurring cost to business 2.14
Recurring cost to regulators (1)
(1 )Not significantly greater than before.

The amendments will make a significant and cost-effective contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from new buildings. The total benefits of the part F changes were estimated to be between £1.5 million to £5.2 million per year (average of £3.1 million).

The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2003 introduced revisions of part M and Approved Document M of the Building Regulations. Part M deals with access to and use of buildings. The amendments relate solely to buildings other than dwellings, and support, and complement, the aims of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA).

A regulatory impact assessment was carried out and is on the Department's website. It gives the following estimates:

£ million
New buildings
Recurring cost to business 120
Existing buildings
Recurring cost to business 69.33
Recurring cost to regulators: (1)
(1) It was estimated that, on average, an additional quarter to half full time equivalent member of staff may be required to carry out the additional functions, the cost of which will be reflected in building control charges.

One-off cost to business and regulators was not estimated separately in the RIA but was assumed to be nil, since the regulations did not incur administrative costs additional to or separate from those normally incurred by the building control process.

The changes were shown to deliver substantial benefits which far outweighed the costs. To put this into perspective the expected annual cost for new buildings of £120 million was estimated to provide benefits to the value of approximately £10 per annum for each of the estimated 11.7 million people with disabilities. In view of the wide range of personal and social benefits that would result from improved access for disabled people and taking account of additional accessibility benefits for other groups and businesses, the actual benefits of these proposals are expected to exceed this by a considerable margin.

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