Class 2 Building Regulation in NSW, Update – Ground Anchors and Insurance

Further amendments have recently been made to the legislation affecting the design, construction and rectification of class 2 buildings in New South Wales, which originally came into effect on 1 September 2020, for rectification, and otherwise on 1 July 2021.

Previously (from 1 July 2021) an order made under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) required design practitioners to provide evidence of a registered easement over a neighbouring property, other than a public road, for installation of an encroaching ground anchor be included in a regulated design for the building work involved (Schedule 1 of the Design and Building Practitioners – Particulars for Regulated Designs Order 2021 (NSW) (2021 Order)).

From 2 March 2022, this evidence requirement has been substantially softened, moved to the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 (NSW), and is now an obligation of the building practitioner to provide, rather than being included in the regulated design of a design practitioner. The required evidence of right is now simply “a document that permits the installation of a ground anchor on neighbouring land and shows the proposed location of the anchor” (or a consent under the Roads Act 1993 (NSW) where appropriate). This amendment is made by the combined effect of the Design and Building Practitioners Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2022 (NSW) (Amendment Regulation) and the replacement to the 2021 Order, the Design and Building Practitioners – Particulars for Regulated Designs Order 2022 (NSW).

A building practitioner must provide the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service (in effect the NSW Building Commissioner) with this evidence before building work commences. Where the ground anchor is to be destressed or has a removable reinforcement tendon, the building practitioner must also advise the Secretary of the process and timing for destressing of the anchor or the removal, again before the building work commences.

A building practitioner must also provide evidence to the Secretary that a ground anchor has been destressed or has had the removable reinforcement tendon removed before applying for the final occupation certificate for the development or before completion of the development if no occupation certificate is required.

On 1 July 2022, the Amendment Regulation will also extend the expiry date of the current insurance exemption for building practitioners to 30 June 2023 (otherwise expiring on 30 June 2022).

The team at Hamilton Locke are presenting workshops on the operation of this legislation next month (April 2022) – please get in touch if this is of interest.

For more information, please contact Grant Parker (Partner), Veno Panicker (Partner) or John Hibbard.