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In 2012, the Government launched a fundamental review of the framework of building regulations, guidance, local codes and discretionary technical housing standards that are currently applied to new housing through the planning system. It aimed to reduce bureaucracy and costs on house builders to support growth, whilst delivering quality, sustainability, safety and accessibility.

Following a consultation in 2013, in March this year the Government announced the outcome of the review. We concluded that the best way forward would, as far as possible, be to incorporate necessary technical standards in the building regulations, and that for new housing, authorities should only use the standards emerging from the review process.

The announcement also stated that Government would publish a package of all the technical material, in draft, for comment. This consultation reflects those decisions and seeks views on the technical standards to be published and other practical matters of implementation.

The Government is further seeking views on the nature of the planning statement which sets out the Government’s policy in this regard. The statement will have immediate effect at the time of its publication and transitional arrangements are proposed to deal with the period before the optional requirements come into force.

The Government is publishing its draft policy to give developers, planning authorities and others good notice of the Government’s intentions.

There is one area where a new standard is being taken forward which will not be in the Building Regulations. This relates to Space Standards. The Government does not consider there is a case for statutory regulation in this area. However, it does consider there is a need for a national standard to replace the many different existing space standards used by local authorities. A draft of this standard is included in the consultation.

In addition, this consultation also includes changes to guidance continued in Approved Document H on external waste storage.

A consultation stage Impact Assessment is also being made available, to help inform your consideration. This builds on last year’s initial Impact Assessment, extending the analysis on the basis of additional information and data compiled this year.

This is a 8 week consultation which will close on 7th November 2014.

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