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31.01.18

Clive Betts says concerns have been ‘quickly dismissed’ in post-Grenfell review

Clive Betts, chair of the communities and local government committee, has again written to the chair of the independent review of building regulations and fire safety.

The letter to chair Dame Judith Hackitt, comes following her response to issues previously raised by committee members.

Betts previously wrote to Hackitt on 9 January 2018, and in his latest letter he reports that the committee was “disappointed” with her response, and reiterates the issues that the committee is most concerned about, asking her to reconsider the review’s approach to them.

He criticises the decision for the review to not consider the current regime for testing of domestic electrical appliances, which Hackitt said in her last letter “does not fall within the terms of reference of the review.”

The committee chair says that Hackitt had previously told the committee that it could certainly be given consideration, and calls it “unfortunate” that, in the context of the Grenfell tragedy, it has been “so quickly dismissed.”

Betts also expressed disappointment at the dame’s decision to not undertake a consideration of Part P, arguing that the public expectation is that the review will be of all building regulations, not only Part B.

He also reinforces the committee’s concerns that the review might focus on a risk-based regulatory system, rather than a more prescriptive approach, warning that some elements of prescription might be “absolutely necessary,” such as ending the use of combustable materials on the external cladding of high-rise buildings.

The independent review’s final report is expected to be published later this year.

Top image: Ik Aldama, DPA, PA Images

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