Can a single person sign off a complex building?

Eleanor Jolliffe

The Hackitt review’s common sense approach is welcome, but Eleanor Jolliffe has some practical questions

I recently spent a few hours leafing through the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: final report (better known as the Hackitt review). This is not because I am, or necessarily intend to become, an expert on high-rise housing or fire safety in high-rise buildings but rather because following one of the greatest losses of life recorded in this country in my lifetime – a loss that centred around an industry I am building a career in – I thought it was time well spent.

Immediately I was worried by Hackitt’s foreword in which she states that “while conducting this review I have had personal experience of the high level of self-interested advocacy which hampers good independent decision making in this sector, and gets in the way of much needed progress to a different set of behaviours”. When it has tragically become clear that this progress is quite literally life or death there should surely be no organisation that can excuse behaviour like this.

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