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22 October 2018
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Grenfell Tower © Shutterstock

30 August 2017 | Adam Leach

The independent review into building regulations and fire safety will seek to root out any potential systemic failures in existing arrangements to ensure that a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire could not happen again.

Publishing the terms of reference for the review, which will be led by respected engineer Dame Judith Hackitt, the government vowed that it would serve to develop a ‘more robust regulatory system for the future’ and ‘provide assurance’ to those currently living in high-rise residential buildings.

“We must learn the lessons of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and ensure that a fire like this cannot happen again,” said communities secretary Sajid Javid.

This independent review… will address any potential failures and recommend how we ensure the whole building regulations and fire safety system is robust.” 

Launched in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, which is currently confirmed to have killed at least 80 people, the review will draw on the advice and expertise of a range of groups such as international experts in the building industry and the fire sector. It will also consult current residents of high-rise buildings to ensure that their concerns are addressed.

Explaining her approach to the review, Hackitt, who was chair of the Health and Safety Commission from 2007-2009, said: “It’s right that we consider the whole system together and ensure that everything possible is done to improve the safety of buildings. I will also be speaking to residents of multi-occupancy residential buildings who must have a voice about these important issues that affect their safety.”

Scheduled to submit an interim report in autumn of this year, followed by a full report in spring 2018, the review team will cooperate fully with the public inquiry into the fire.

Hackitt will report directly to Javid and home secretary Amber Rudd.