§ Mr. Heddle
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to table regulations to give effect to the Building Act 1984.
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
[pursuant to the reply, 25 March 1985, c. 11]: I have today laid before Parliament two sets of building regulations. The Building Regulations 1985 will come into operation on 11 November. They are much shorter and simpler than the present regulations, and eliminate controls over the erection of certain small buildings and small extensions and over some alterations and changes of use. The regulations will be subject to continuing review to ensure that they comply fully with the principles for minimising regulatory controls set out in the Government's White Paper "Lifting the Burden".
The new regulations will be supported by approved documents giving practical guidance on how to meet the requirements and by the mandatory rules for means of escape in case of fire, published by HMSO on 8 July. There will also be a manual to the building regulations which will contain the regulations, explain the new systems of control and provide a link between the technical requirements and the approved documents. Copies of these 170W documents have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and should be available to the public before the middle of August.
The Building (Approved Inspectors etc) Regulations 1985 set out the detailed procedures for operating the system of private certification, to provide developers with an alternative option to local authority supervision. Those who continue to use the local authority system will be able to provide certificates given by approved persons that their plans comply with the regulations on structural stability or energy conservation.
I am considering an application from the National House-Building Council to be approved as an inspector for dwellings, and the insurance scheme which it is proposing to offer, when acting in this new capacity. I intend in due course to designate professional bodies for the purpose of approving individual inspectors and persons, and will be continuing discussions with them and the insurance industry on possible ways of providing adequate protection for those who suffer damage resulting from the negligence of an approved inspector or person.