Until recently, as well as complying with the Building Regulations, developers had to comply with any additional requirements imposed on them by local planning authorities by way of planning conditions.
What is the new approach?
The new approach is an attempt to simplify the process and combine some Planning requirements within the Building Control requirements.
Optional requirements are to be introduced for the first time. Local planning authorities can choose whether or not to impose these optional requirements.
These optional requirements need not relate to energy efficiency. The first two optional requirements introduced (1 October 2015) relate to accessibility (Part M) and water efficiency (Part G).
The government has also introduced a new nationally described space standard. This space standard does not form part of the Building Regulations, but local planning authorities will be expected to apply the new national space standard instead of any local standard previously applied.
Additional mandatory requirements will be introduced to the Building Regulations. New mandatory security standards for new homes will apply (1 October 2015), as shown in the timeline diagram below:
What does it mean to developers?
It should meant less planning information and assessments required, which in turn should be less upfront project cost, ultimately resulting in more homes being built.
Time will tell! We would welcome feedback from any of your own experiences of this.