§ Mr. Galbraith
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress is being made on the review of the building control system in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Younger
Last July I invited a broad range of Scottish interests to comment on the structure and operation of the present system and on changes which might be introduced to make it more effective. The general response was that, while the basic framework of building control in Scotland works relatively satisfactorily, there is considerable scope for improvement. I now intend therefore to develop proposals for change involving a greater contribution by the private sector to the operation of the system and also covering consistency of enforcement, the level of charges, the scope and format of regulations and other matters. In formulating my proposals I shall have regard to the comments have received and to the parallel review being undertaken of the separate arrangements for building control in England and Wales. There will then be further consultations.
In the meantime, I shall publish later this year a consolidated edition of the Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations which will include amendments widening scope of the present exemptions from building control, updating the present fire safety requirements, and extending those aimed at promoting energy conservation. In addition there will be presentational changes aimed at easing the understanding and application of the regulations.