Three-year strategic plan released by Building Safety Regulator

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has outlined its three-year strategic plan for improving building safety standards as part of the new building safety regime.

Published in November 2023, the three-year plan outlines how the BSR will carry out its building safety functions during the first three years of its operation, from April 2023 to March 2026.

Offering a roadmap of activity for each year, as stated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the plan details the work the BSR has been established to deliver, how it will go about it, and what it aims to achieve. Part of BSR’s mission of “protecting people and places” is to improve the safety and standards of buildings, ensure residents of higher-risk buildings are safe and feel safe where they live, and help restore trust in the built environment sector:

Our vision is to create a built environment where everyone is competent and takes responsibility to ensure buildings are of high quality and safe, so residents and other building users are confident that the tragedies of the past will never be repeated.

The 27-page document expands on the following areas:

  • How the regulator will deliver consistent standards within the building control profession
  • How the regulator will oversee and drive improvements across the built environment
  • How the regulator will regulate the planning, design, and construction of new higher-risk buildings
  • How the regulator will ensure those who are responsible for higher-risk buildings manage risk so that residents are safe
  • How the regulator will work in partnership with co-regulators, including fire and rescue authorities, local authorities, and the Office for Product Safety Standards (OPSS).

It also sets out a roadmap that BSR will follow, with year one dedicated to implementation, year two to consolidation, and year three to maintaining a steady state.

In his foreword, Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing, and Communities Michael Gove states that the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire exposed a sector that had a “broken and fragmented culture” in need of “fundamental reform”.

I want to make clear to residents and leaseholders living in high-rise buildings that establishing the Building Safety Regulator means the authority and powers are now in place to help make, and keep, their homes safe. There will be real and serious consequences for building owners and developers who do not meet their obligations. We will tolerate neither evasion nor delay. Parliament has charged the Regulator with ensuring high-rise buildings with unsafe external walls are remediated swiftly – a mission that I once again affirm today.”

As reported by Construction Management magazine, Director of Building Safety at HSE, Philip White said: “This strategic plan sets out the guiding principles we have put in place to keep us focused on our priorities in delivering the new regime, and we will keep it under continuous review. We will ensure we have the right capability and capacity to meet this challenge as our remit continues to evolve, working with others sharing knowledge, expertise, and data.

Our focus is clear and resolute as we oversee a culture of higher standards, putting building safety first. Our regulatory activities will be conducted in a way which is transparent, accountable, proportionate, and consistent.”

Philip adds that over the next three years, the BSR will work alongside those in the building sector to ensure that they “engage fully with the new regime”.

HSE Chair, Sarah Newton added: “This is a strong, coherent strategy built on collaboration with all BSR’s stakeholders, with a keen focus on ensuring industry takes ownership and responsibility for delivering a safe system throughout the life cycle of a building.

This must be front of mind for everyone. And everyone must be aware of their legal responsibilities. Collaboration and collective responsibility are key for delivering better standards.”

You can access the full strategic plan here.