Last edited 23 Oct 2018


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The term ‘Act’ refers to an Act of Parliament that either creates a new law or changes in some way an existing one. The government is responsible for enforcing new laws once they have been passed by Parliament. Acts of Parliament comprise the UK’s statute law.

An Act is different from a Bill in that it has been approved by both chambers – the House of Commons and House of Lords – and is given Royal Assent.

Once it has been passed, an Act can either come into force with immediate effect, or at a specified future date, or it can be introduced in stages.

To change an existing law, another Act or delegated legislation must be passed, or an Act can be repealed so that it no longer applies.

Almost all current Acts of Parliament are available to read on the website.

Some of the most relevant Acts realting to construction and the built environment include:

For more information see:

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