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The Week That Was - 22 October 2021

22 October 2021. Published by Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

Significant regeneration project in London
The third phase of the £500m Blackwall Reach regeneration project, which is being delivered in partnership by Swan Housing Association (Swan), the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Greater London Authority, has been given the go ahead.  Swan's CEO comments that Phase 3 will "cement Blackwall Reach's position as one of the most significant transformative regeneration projects in London".   Overall, the Blackwall Reach project will create 1,575 new homes, 50% of which will be affordable, and will include a high-quality public space, which is considered an "essential in a post-Covid-19 world". 

For more information, please click here.

Funding for UK green energy projects 
18 green energy projects in the UK, including in wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture, are to receive almost £10bn in funding from foreign investors and create up to 30,000 new jobs.  The deals include a £6bn investment by Iberdrola in Scottish Power's future offshore windfarms, known as the East Anglia Hub, which will be Iberdrola’s biggest offshore wind development and is intended to supply green energy to power 2.7 million homes; a £1.5bn investment by logistics firm, Prologis, to develop net zero carbon warehouses; and a £30m investment in Petra Modular for the production of sustainable modular homes. 

For more information and a complete list of the projects, please click here

RICS publishes new Rules of Conduct
Combining the previously separate codes for member and firms, RICS has published its new Rules of Conduct which will be effective from 2 February 2022.  Aiming to provide a concise, comprehensive and high level statement of the professional conduct expected of all of its members and registered firms, it sets out 5 rules, each with expected behaviours.  There will still be additional statements and guidance where required for specific sectors.  It is accompanied by detailed case study examples and a proposed suite of e-learning and resources accessible via the RICS Online Academy, to allow members and firms to prepare for implementation.   

To access the new Rules, case study examples, FAQs, ethical decision tree and further learning, together with the currently applicable Codes, please click here.

Building Safety Bill – draft regulations and fact sheets
Following criticism of the original draft Building Safety Bill published in July 2020, 6 additional sets of regulations have been published which set out the intended implementations of some of the delegated powers under the revised Bill, relating to fees, Construction Products and regulations for "Higher-Risk" buildings.    Alongside these 25 factsheets were published, each focussing on specific categories of stakeholders in the bill.  It is clearly intended to be a significant overhaul of regulation in this area, even if it does not pass into law in its current form. 

The draft regulations can be accessed here.

The factsheets can be accessed here

A warning to adjudicators –  UK case law can't be "read across" into Irish adjudication enforcement
In the judgment handed down in the case of Aakon Construction Services LTD v Pure Fitout Associated Ltd [2021] IEHC 562, where Ireland's High Court enforced an adjudicator's decision, Simons J warned against relying on case law concerning the Construction Act 1996. 

The judge noted similarities between the Construction Act 1996 and Construction Contracts Act 2013, particularly the "pay now, argue later" approach, but warned parties about applying case law from one country to another, given the different ways in which the "pay now, argue later" approach is achieved.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.