HC Deb 10 June 1998 vol 313 cc575-6W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if, in the case of housing development, only the building regulations in force at the time of submission of a planning application apply to the construction, irrespective of the date of construction; [44902]

(2) if the Government plan to make Part M of the Building Regulations apply to all buildings constructed after the making of the regulations, irrespective of the date of the planning consent. [44903]

Mr. Raynsford

[holding answer 8 June 1998]: I am aware of the cases in the hon. Member's constituency which have given rise to concern that housing developers may seek to use building control procedures to circumvent the changes I have announced that will apply Part M of the building regulations to new dwellings. I understand that two initial building control notices for a total of 12,000 houses will not now take effect. These related to land for which I understand there is no current prospect of planning permission for housing.

I share the hon. Member's concern that building control procedures should not be used to circumvent the new requirements for access and facilities for disabled people. The general position is that building work is subject to the requirements in force at the time the relevant building control notice is given.

I have previously announced in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Basildon (Angela Smith) on 9 March 1998, Official Report, column 12, that I envisage an interval of one year between the publication of the new Part M requirements and the coming into effect of the Amendment Regulations. This would be to allow time for guidance to be developed in support of the new requirements and also to allow time for building workers to be trained in the new techniques that will be necessary.

Against that background, I am considering what steps to take to ensure an effective transfer to the new Part M requirements following the coming into force of the new regulations.

Forward to