The Week That Was - 25 August 2023

Published on 25 August 2023

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

Leaseholders succeed in obtaining first remediation order concerning application under Building Safety Act 2022

A group of leaseholders who represented themselves for most of the proceedings, without any expert witnesses or significant help from the local authority, has successfully secured a remediation order under section 123 of the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022).

This case could have important implications for other leaseholders who are facing similar issues with their buildings, especially those who cannot afford legal representation or expert advice.  It could also encourage local authorities to take a more active role in supporting leaseholders and enforcing the BSA 2022.

The tribunal stressed that the BSA 2022 was not designed to place a burden on leaseholders, but rather to protect them from unsafe and substandard buildings. As seen here, it may treat applications sympathetically and flexibly, with a focus on outcome (i.e. application of BSA 2022 to ensure the building's safety).  

To read more, please click here.


DLUHC publishes Government response to consultation on new safety regime for occupied higher-risk buildings:

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has published the Government’s response to sections of the consultation on the new safety regime for occupied higher-risk buildings.

The response addresses areas such as building assessment certification, safety case report approach, mandatory occurrence reporting, residents' engagement strategy, how the 'golden thread' is stored and managed, enforcement, reviews and appeals, and the impact of the new regime. 

To read more, please click here.


HSE to increase safety checks in September following the death of a construction worker at the new Everton FC stadium

In a suspected response to the death on 14 August 2023 of a 26-year-old construction worker at the construction site of the new Everton FC stadium, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is planning to start an increased review of sites in September.  This will be the second round of inspections following previous site visits between May and July, when the HSE were focused on the protection of workers from the inhalation of harmful dust whilst on site.  The new round of inspections is likely to focus on how managers are ensuring the protection of workers from injuries and other health risks.  Further details of the checks will be announced by the HSE on 30 August.

To read more, please click here.


National Federation of Builders criticises ULEZ expansion

In response to the planned expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scheme in London, Richard Beresford (Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders) has stated that this could not come at a worse time for the construction industry.  He cites Transport for London's estimation that 30,000 non-compliant vans currently use the expanded ULEZ daily, but Autotrader has identified that there are only 5,181 compliant vans currently for sale across the whole of London and the southeast. 

Whilst the van scrappage scheme has been increased to £7,000, or £9,500 for those opting for an electric vehicle, and the retrofit grant rising to £6,000, the cheapest compliant small van available was priced at £4,400 with 128,000 miles.  With a lack of supply of replacement vehicles, many older 3.5 tonne vehicles may be liable for more than £300 a day and others under that weight up to £127.50.

To read more, please click here.

Get the timing right! Terminating a JCT contract

The recent High Court case of Andrew Bellis v Sky House Construction Ltd provided clarity on termination provisions in JCT contracts, and specifically when a termination notice can be issued.  In this case, Clause 1.4 of the contract stated that: “Where under this Contract an act is required to be done within a specified period of days after or from a specified date, the period shall begin immediately after that date”. The court agreed with the adjudicator who found that Mr Bellis had issued the notice of termination too early (one day before he was entitled to do so), and in doing so had repudiated the contract.  He was, therefore, liable to pay over £30,000 to Sky House in damages.

To read more, please click here


NHS unveils winners of £1.6bn framework

More than 100 firms have been selected for the four-year Healthcare Planning, Construction Consultancy, and Ancillary Services (HPCCAS) framework.  The framework will enable the public health agency to appoint experts in architecture, engineering, planning, surveying, and designing to build new hospitals.

Melissa King, NHS SBS Senior Category Manager – Construction & Infrastructure, said: “To cater for regionalised procurement, 78% of the suppliers appointed are small to medium sized enterprises, sitting alongside larger multi-disciplinary (tier 1) suppliers.

“Previous iterations of the framework agreement have achieved 10-15% savings.  With £1.6bn expected spend via it over the next four years, the HPCCAS framework agreement has the potential to achieve public sector savings of up £240m.”

To read more, please click here.


Authors for this week's edition: Mars Yeung, Kiran Singarda, and Gareth Jenkins

Disclaimer: The information in this publication is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  We attempt to ensure that the content is current as at the date of publication, but we do not guarantee that it remains up to date.  You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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