HL Deb 27 July 1998 vol 592 cc164-5WA
Lord Graham of Edmonton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they intend to take to ensure an effective transfer to the application to new dwellings of Part M of the Building Regulations (access and facilities for disabled people). [HL3088]

Baroness Hayman

We are today issuing a consultation paper on the transitional arrangements for the building regulations amendments which we announced in March this year. These amendments will extend access requirements to new houses from October 1999.

We are proposing that the transitional provisions should ensure that new buildings where construction work starts on or after the coming into force date of the regulations will in general be subject to the new Part M requirements. However, new buildings begun after the coming into force date in accordance with full plans deposited with a local authority at least two months before that date, or in accordance with plans covered by an approved inspector's plans certificate accepted by a local authority before the coming into force date, will not have to comply with the new requirements.

In this way the transitional provisions will distinguish between cases where detailed design work has been completed and submitted to the relevant building control body before the coming into effect of the regulations, and other cases. This will prevent developers from giving premature building control notices simply in order to gain exemption from the new requirements for houses that have not been designed and could not be built until long after the coming into force date.

The consultation letter sets Wednesday 9 September as the deadline for receipt of responses. After assessing the responses, and subject to the outcome of the separate process of notifying the technical changes to the European Commission, we intend to make and publish the new regulations, and a revised Approved Document, in October.

Copies of the consultation letter are being placed in the Library.