Construction Unit Update – April 2024 top five

April 2024 top five

Here are our top five for this month:

1. The 2024 edition of the JCT Design and Build Contract suite was published by the Joints Contracts Tribunal. For each new edition we buy the JCT Tracked Change Document. This is available here. 

The revisions are not extensive. We note in particular:

a) Article 3, setting out how the parties are to conduct themselves (used to be in the optional Schedule 2 Supplemental Provisions).

b) that the Principal Designer for the purposes of Part 2A of the Building Regulations is named in Article 7. Part 2A can be seen here. 

c) two other migrants from Schedule 2 Supplemental Provisions into the conditions – environmental performance and notification and negotiation of disputes (see clauses 2.1.5 and 9.1)

d) use of email for giving of notices – clause 7.3 and Contract Particular for clause 1.7.3

e) two new Relevant Matters (epidemic and exercise of statutory power), with options to apply them within Contract Particulars for clauses 4.21.6 and 4.21.7

f) a more detailed Contract Particular for clause 6.15 in relation to professional indemnity insurance

g) a note about electronic execution of deeds within the Attestation notes

h) new clause 2.17.1.2 providing that the contractor has no fitness for purpose obligation for its design, to the extent permitted by law

i) new clause 2.24.4 obliging the Employer to make any request for further information within 14 days of receipt of the Contractor’s notice of delay and revised clause 2.25.2 concerning the timescale for the Employer’s decision in respect of a notice of delay

j) revision to clause 3.4 to reflect that sub-contractor warranties may have step in provisions.

2. On a lighter note, the government is consulting on apologising. Some in the construction arena may well have some wry thoughts about this. Section 2 of the 2006 the Compensation Act provides that an apology is not an admission of negligence or breach of statutory duty. For a summary of the present position in England, Wales and Scotland and to respond to the consultation (ends 3rd June), please use this link.

3. From 25 April 2024, by section 171B of the Town and County Planning Act 1990, enforcement action for a breach of planning control can be taken within ten years beginning with the date on which the operations were substantially completed. For Wales the period is four years. Note that in relation to demolition in breach of planning control, there is no limit for action.

4. Martell v Roszkowski & Ors [2024] EWHC 840 (TCC) (16 April 2024) (bailii.org) is a cautionary read for anyone contemplating major works to their home. The lengthy judgement covers concrete strength (for basement works) and sample testing, waterproofing, engineer and contractor duties, interest on loans for remedial works and whether behaviour is a ground to claim repudiatory breach of contract. We are rarely asked to advise on the front end of a domestic project; this is an example of how badly major domestic projects can go wrong and the impact on all the parties involved.

5. RAAC update: in April the Department for Education amended its Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete: Identification guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk) A summary of the changes is on page 5.

If you have any questions about these or other construction matters, please contact Jan Grimshaw on 07702 846850 or jan.grimshaw@daviesandpartners.com

 

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