The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has announced the establishment of a new national regulator for construction products. This is the next step in the Government's response to the Hackitt report on the Building Regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell tragedy.
In its announcement of the new regulator, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government refers to the "dishonest practice by some manufacturers of construction products, including deliberate attempts to game the system and rig the results of safety tests" highlighted during the Grenfell Inquiry.
The new regulator will:
- have the power to remove any product from the market that presents a significant safety risk and to prosecute those who seek to flout the rules;
- operate within the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) which will be given up to £10 million funding for this purpose;
- work with the Building Safety Regulator and Trading Standards to "encourage and enforce compliance"; and
- be able to conduct its own product testing when investigating concerns.
The Government has also commissioned an independent review to examine weaknesses in previous testing regimes for construction products. We will keep you updated on developments in this area, including the progress of the Fire Safety Bill.