Government reminds roofing industry about meeting building regulations

Published:  25 February, 2016

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has reminded the roofing industry and housebuilding industry of the requirement to conform to building regulations.

James Wharton MP said: “Building regulations require that building work is carried out with adequate and proper materials which are appropriate for the circumstances in which they are used. Building control bodies are responsible for checking compliance as with any other building regulation requirements. In addition, if a building material is covered by a harmonised European standard, the requirements of the European Construction Products Regulation will apply. This regulation is enforced by local authorities (Trading Standards in England, Scotland and Wales and district councils in Northern Ireland).”

Mr Wharton said it in response to a concern raised by the Member of Parliament for Bassetlaw, John Mann MP, about the lacklustre adoption of BS5534:2014 in a question that asked: “What steps are his department taking to prevent the use of fraudulent roofing materials in the building of new houses?”

Mr Mann raised the issue with the Secretary of State following a visit to one of his constituents, John Brash & Co, which has invested nearly £1m in new technology to increase its production capabilities as the only British manufacturer of roofing battens in the UK to stay ahead of the new standard.

At the meeting, the directors of the Gainsborough-based company told Mr Mann of their fears about fraudulent foreign imports flooding the UK and the implications if they are used on the roofs of houses that are currently being built as part of the government’s commitment to building 300,000 more homes in the UK.

John Brash chairman Christian Brash welcomed the Secretary of State’s comments and thanked his local MP for taking up the issue.

“James Wharton MP has sent out a clear message to the housebuilding industry and its supply chain about the importance of building regulations and the role of building control bodies in enforcing the new rules,” he said.

“BS5534:2014 brings together some of the most significant changes in the roofing industry during the past 50 years and has set new, higher standards – which can only be good for UK housebuilding. However, we are very concerned that there are parts of our industry that are resistant to the new rules, and this is leaving the door open to substandard and in some cases fraudulent timber roofing batten.”

Mr Wharton continued: “We have been very proactive as a business with our Take It as Red campaign to promote the benefits of BS5534:2014 and have so far distributed more than 30,000 copies of a bite-sized guide to the new standard. So, having government backing is a big boost for our business and all other companies in the housebuilding supply chain that are fully committed to producing materials that meet all current standards.”

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