The decision by the Government just prior to Christmas to scrap proposed changes to Part L of the Building Regulations has been warmly welcomed by the Builders Merchants’ Federation.

During 2012, the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) sought input on requiring voters to have energy-efficiency consequential improvements carried out when having conservatories, conversions or extensions done - or when replacing boilers or a number of windows.

The BMF lobbied against this because it believes trying to force them on residents is heavy-handed and counter-productive. Anything that makes small works more expensive will affect merchant sales. At a time when plumbers, builders and allied trades are vital in creating much-needed local growth, the merchants’ organisation said it was a bad move.

Secretary of State Eric Pickles MP agreed with the Federation and he announced the intention to introduce these consequential improvements will be scrapped. The idea would discourage people from undertaking home improvements, said Mr Pickles.

The Federation welcomes Eric Pickles’ decision as a victory for common sense. The over-riding issue was whether (or not) imposing further regulation was sensible as the construction industry risks falling into a treble-dip recession.