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The secondary legislation gave us further insight into what is going to be required to submit a building control application for approval. The new building safety regime was mostly introduced from the 1st October 2023 and attentions are turning to building control approval applications and the processes which are going to be required to construct a higher-risk building (HRB).
A building control application will need to be submitted for approval to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) as part of the Building Safety Act’s new gateway two. The BSR will need to have approved an application before any construction works start on site. There are some types of enabling works that can be completed, but broadly it is before any foundations commence (check the secondary legislation for more details).
Once the application is submitted, the BSR will then have 12 weeks to approve, approve with conditions, or reject the application. During this period, they can consult with relevant third parties such as the fire and rescue authorities, sewerage companies etc.
All of these requirements ultimately mean that to construct an HRB you must think about how to works are going to be managed, how compliance with the building regulations is going to be achieved and how the building will work once completed before you put a spade in the ground. Gone are the days of having an application given approval in principle by building control whilst further design or construction information is sought.
I have written previously about change control and the challenge it could pose to construction project and programmes but the other challenging requirement in there is a completion strategy for the building before you have started. Most complex projects normally require a sectional or partial completion before the final practical completion of a building. This now needs to be set out before you submit an application and start on site, which for some complex programmes will be years in advance of when the project is due to complete.
Without careful planning and preparation of these documents well in advance of applying to the BSR for approval, these new requirements could disrupt project programmes.
We are currently working with multiple clients to draft and produce a building control application for HRB projects and put in place examplar accompanying documents.
Get in touch with us here if you need any support or guidance to produce a building control application through the new Building Safety Act gateway two for HRBs.