Did You Know There Are Plans To Make Changes To Building Regulations, asks Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.
Plans are afoot to make approved inspectors and the LABC more streamlined, more efficient and more effective in the fight against non-compliance. But will they work?
Building control is the thin blue line ensuring that the industry complies with Building Regulations. This comes in two flavours: local authority building control (LABC), which works for local authorities; and approved inspectors (AIs), which are private organisations that carry out the same role.
For years there have been concerns that building control isn’t sufficiently effective, being described by the communities department in 2007 as having “serious failings and weaknesses that must be tackled”. In 2007, the Tories suggested building control should be ditched altogether. In January, the communities department launched a consultation that aims to improve compliance by making changes that includes giving building control greater powers.
1. Improving LABC processes by replacing the nine statutory inspection stages with an agreed “service plan”
2. Removal of the Warranty Link Rule to open up competition between LABC and AIs for new-build housing
3. Tougher enforcement regime - fines and compliance notices
4. Introducing specialist third-party certification schemes
5. Introducing “appointed persons” to act as compliance co-ordinators on construction sites
Also included in this consultation were proposals to:
- Make the issue of completion certificates by local authorities mandatory and within a specified time period
- Amend the wording on completion certificates to reflect the legal position that certificates are not conclusive proof of compliance
- Make minor amendments to the approved inspector regulations to reduce the administrative burden
- Extend the competent person self-certification schemes framework.