§ Sir John Tilney
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied that in the case of new buildings the requirements contained in Building Regulations are sufficiently comprehensive to exclude the use of unsatisfactory materials, and that in the case of some older buildings the main legislation that applies is the Public Health Act 1936, and that holiday camps have to be dealt with by fire brigades under the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act.
§ Mr. Channon
The Building Regulations made under the Public Health Acts 1936 and 1961 require that any materials used in the erection of a building or in the structural alteration or extension of a building shall be of a suitable nature and quality in relation to the purposes for168W which they are used. In the context of structural fire precautions, Part E of the regulations contains further comprehensive requirements for such materials, mainly by reference to their performance under British Standard 476. These requirements will be reviewed in the light of the outcome of the Summerland Leisure Centre Commission of Inquiry.
The powers of control over existing buildings, including those at holiday camps, depend upon the purpose for which each is used. Local authorities have certain powers to control the means of ingress and egress from places of public resort and large restaurants and shops under Section 59 of the Public Health Act 1936, and fire certificates are required from fire authorities in respect of certain offices and shops under the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963. There are also controls under the several Acts that require the licensing of premises for various kinds of entertainment. The Fire Precautions Act 1971 is designed to ensure that the means of escape and fire precautions in a wide range of premises used by the public are adequate. The Act is being applied by stages, having first been applied to the majority of hotels and boarding houses.