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Engineer Oscar Faber has been chosen as the contact point for people seeking to become involved with the development of the government’s proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regulations. Its review, launched last month (AJ 19.2.98 page 12), proposes checks on the energy performance of existing buildings.


Possible changes include: requiring owners to operate their buildings in an energy-efficient manner extending requirements to cover minor alterations such as changing windows and boilers taking national CO 2mitigation costs into account when setting standards recognising novel building forms and methods of construction.


At the launch, construction minister Nick Raynsford announced that there would be very wide consultation, with workshops used both to develop existing ideas and to generate more. But he has also said that the consultation process will be rapid. A first discussion paper will be produced as a result of the consultation in May and comments should be incorporated in a full consultation paper within six months. Fully costed proposals and the normal formal consultation will follow, with Approved Documents developed during 1999.


Hence Oscar Faber’s role. Those wising to be involved with the consultation process should write to: Steve Irving, Oscar Faber, Marlborough House, Upper Marlborough Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 3UT as soon as possible.


Comments are also invited on another publication. The Stationery Office has published a research report ‘The Use of Permitted Development Rights by Statutory Under takers’ ( ISBN 0 11753441 2) commissioned by DETR and prepared by BDP Planning in association with Berwin Leighton. . The report concludes that local planning authorities and statutory undertakers find the existing systems for permitted development rights are generally satisfactory, but it does make some recommendations about the provision of guidance, codes of practice and improvements to the consultation process.


Comments should be sent to Cyril Kearney, DETR, Zone 4/H1, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU.

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