The London Assembly Housing Committee recently met to investigate the issues for social housing post-Grenfell. There, I asked whether strategic changes are needed in the quality, design and standards for future homes.
It has been a long-held concern of mine that building regulations are not up to the standards required to provide us with safe and sustainable buildings. The spotlight is rightly shining on the standard of new housing, particularly when it comes to tower blocks.
What is even more alarming is the very patchy system of inspection. Privatisation of monitoring and inspection has opened a very wide door, allowing bad practice to seep into the sector. Pat Hayes, Managing Director at Be First, whilst answering a question on this issue, replied: “major house builders have a single contractor, often with a single approved inspector, for the whole country and they do it all from their desk in Cardiff in the main. That is a concern”. It seems to me as though this opens up the possibility of a spectrum of behaviour “from seduction to corruption”.
Watch the below video where I question Pat Hayes, an experienced practitioner in delivering new-build homes.
This video is a short section taken from the Assembly Housing Committee’s investigation into strategic issues for social housing post-Grenfell. The full webcast of the committee can be viewed here.