More changes to the BSA affecting Gateway 2

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The Government has announced three more important changes to the Building Safety Act which apply to new HRBs (18m+ apartment buildings). We consider these changes here.

  1. The Principal Contractor and Principal Designer will have to be appointed before the new Gateway 2 stage. This will make a significant difference to how developers currently operate in the design and pre-construction phases and means they will have to engage these important roles much earlier in the process to get approval from the Regulator to move to the construction phase.

  2. The Government has confirmed it will not mandate the Golden Thread in terms of the method of storage of the information. This is good news for developers, especially those who have already been operating an informal Golden Thread arrangement during cladding remediations and in readiness for Gateway 2 becoming live under the BSA. It is also helpful that the Government has not allowed the creation of proprietary software to muddy the water. It is really important for developers to avoid the use of proprietary software packages so that the Golden Thread – both for occupied HRBs and new builds – can be managed sensibly by all concerned, including some of the smaller contractors.

  3. Changes to the definition of commencement under the BSA, which will come into force by October 2023. These are designed to prevent gaming of the transitional arrangements so it will not be possible to take advantage of the transitional arrangements through nominal commencement on site which then stalls for a significant period.

It will be important for developers to update processes to reflect the changes so that the necessary changes are built into contractor procurement and design. By doing so, site start is not held up by the Building Safety Regulator in readiness to move to Gateway 2.

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