Cutting Red Tape

Sector review House Building

The findings of this review have been published

The Cutting Red Tape review of house building is a government review led by BEIS and DCLG, working with other government departments and regulators to identify and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to growth and associated costs to the house building sector, while ensuring necessary protections are maintained.

As part of the review, we heard from businesses, trade associations and others with an interest in the sector. The report sets out the key findings from the evidence we received.

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This Cutting Red Tape review of house building is aimed at businesses and based on the views and issues expressed by businesses through our 'call for evidence'. The review’s findings will be derived from what businesses have told us are the issues and experiences that they face with regulation and these will be our basis for taking action to improve regulation and minimise the burdens of regulation in the sector.

The review will seek evidence on everything from planning and post planning consents, through to building houses, supply chains and the market. Issues that the Housing Implementation Taskforce has initially identified as burdens to the industry include road infrastructure for new housing developments, environmental or ecology requirements, and regulations affecting provision of utilities. The review may also consider the changes made to the Construction, Design and Management Regulations, and opportunities to further simplify the statutory guidance which supports the Building Regulations.

The review is interested to hear if any legislation derived from EU obligations is being implemented more strictly than required, or 'gold-plated'. In addition, it will look at the wider issues faced by house builders in meeting the requirements of the law, including but not limited to:

• how and where they access information about their legal obligations and the quality, consistency and utility of guidance and related papers;
• what information is needed to support their compliance, and how they prefer to access advice and guidance;
• the cumulative impact of complying with different regimes, the interaction between them, and the impact of compliance activities and requirements carried out by different public authorities;
• experience of how regulatory activity works in the UK, compared with other regimes;
• data, information requests, visits and inspections;
• activity undertaken by the regulators to support business compliance;
• any ‘knock-on effects’ arising from compliance with legislation – for example, where action to meet one set of regulations leads to conflict with, or additional requirements to meet, another set of regulations;
• the interactions house builders and off site manufacturers have with the regulatory authorities, including on site; and
• the consistency of compliance and enforcement decisions and ease of appealing them.
The review will also seek evidence of cross-cutting regulatory issues:
• particularly affecting small companies;
• derived from health and safety regulation;
• creating barriers to entry to the sector or innovation or investment within it;
• limiting exports by the sector; and
• encountered where third parties are encouraging companies to undertake unnecessary compliance activity e.g. where regulation does not actually require a company to do something but they are led to believe that it does.

Suggestions and evidence received will consider which deregulatory measures would be likely to have the greatest cumulative impact across the sector, prioritising these accordingly.

Recognising that business does not distinguish between categories of burden, the Review will take a broad approach to what counts as ‘red tape’, and will gain a dynamic picture of how government requirements combine and interact to affect business on the ground. The Review will not consider regulations which are not particular to the house building industry - e.g. company law - unless there is an issue that specifically affects the sector.