Preparing for changes to how cladding is regulated in Scotland

Following the Grenfell Tower disaster, we have seen changes to how cladding is regulated in Scotland. The most recent change comes into force on 1 June 2022 in terms of the Building (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022 (the 2022 regulations) – introducing a ban on the use of combustible cladding on buildings of 11 metres or more in height. The key changes are as follows:

1. Previously developers could use combustible cladding on high-rise buildings provided that they pass a large-scale fire assessment. The regulations now categorically ban any combustible cladding.

2. The combustible cladding ban will apply to all buildings of 11 metres or more in height and which fall into one of the following categories:

  • residential dwellings – including a sheltered housing complex or a shared multi-occupancy residential building
  • buildings used as a place of assembly
  • a place of entertainment or recreation
  • hospitals or residential care building

3. The legislation is retrospective and so will also apply to incompliant cladding on buildings constructed prior to 1 June 2022.

As a result, current owners of buildings that were originally constructed in full compliance with buildings regulations at the relevant time may now find themselves in breach of the new regulations overnight.

As the 2022 regulations apply retrospectively, in many  cases, affected buildings will be fully occupied as businesses and homes, and uildings to which works are required will frequently adjoin other buildings in third party ownership.

While the spotlight has been on residential blocks of flats in the traditional sense, the impact of the new regulations is much wider reaching and extends to living sector developments that also exist as commercial investments, such as student accommodation, and some purely commercial developments that fall into the recreation and entertainment categories e.g. cinemas.


This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

© Shoosmiths LLP 2022