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Councils demand immediate fast-track review of building regulations

Local councils say there must be an immediate and fast-moving review of building regulations in the light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, says that the industry and the public cannot wait for the result of the public inquiry or coroner’s report before this review is started.

“We have to act based on what we know now, while being prepared to revisit the building regulations again in the future if any additional lessons need to be learned” he says.

Porter says the review should consider how easy it is to use, comply with and understand the building regulations and the associated documents supporting them, particularly those relating to the installation of cladding and insulation on external walls of buildings and how the building control, fire safety and planning regimes interact.

"Councils will do whatever it takes to ensure our residents are all safe in their homes. We have been clear all along that entire cladding panels and the insulation behind them need to be fire tested together as a system, rather than just the core of the panels on their own, and are also pleased these much-needed changes to the testing process will now happen” he claims.

He says local councils are concerned that the Building Research Establishment, carrying out safety tests, does not feel able to release the results of previous cladding system tests, as these are deemed commercially confidential.

“If the public are going to have faith in this fire safety testing process then everything needs to be out in the open. It is no time for contractors or manufacturers to withhold test results from both councils and the public” insists Porter.

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