Building a safer Wales: Changes to building safety law

As part of improving building safety, following the Grenfell Fire, 3 new laws came into force on 1st January 2024 in Wales.

The Building (Building Control Profession) (Registration, Sanctions and Appeals) (Wales) Regulations 2023.

From 6th April 2024 the building control regime in Wales changes, with a new mandatory scheme for Registered Building Control Approvers (RBCAs) and Registered Building Inspectors (RBIs) coming into operation and replacing the Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register (CICAIR). RBCAs will be registered for 4 years and RBIs for 3 years with the ability for those registered to be sanctioned or have their registration suspended or cancelled for non-compliance with standards.

In November the Welsh Government published guidance, standards and codes for building control approvers and inspectors which can be accessed online here.

The Building Control Profession (Charges) (Wales) Regulations 2023

Welsh Ministers are now able to recover charges for the regulation of building safety in Wales, as such non-compliant building work may result in fees being imposed on relevant duty holders.

The Building Safety (Description of Higher-Risk Building) (Design and Construction Phase) (Wales) Regulations 2023

Higher-risk buildings (HRB) in Wales are defined as a building that is at least 18 metres in height or has at least 7 stores and contains:

  • at least one residential unit;
  • a hospital;
  • a care home; or
  • a children’s home.

N.B. A HRB in Wales only requires the presence of a single residential unit, in England a HRB requires 2 or more residential units.

A summary of changes made by these regulations can be found on the Legislation Update Service as updates under the Building Act 1984.