Agenda and minutes

Building Control Joint Committee - Thursday, 7th July, 2022 9.30 am

Venue: Barum Room - Brynsworthy. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Yabsley.


To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12th May 2022 (attached) pdf icon PDF 218 KB


RESOLVED, that the minutes of the meeting held on 12th May 2022 (circulated previously) be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Declarations of Interest

(Please complete the enclosed form or telephone the Corporate and Community Services Unit to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting. Interests must be re-declared when the item is called, and Councillors must leave the room if necessary).


There were no declarations of interest announced.


Appointment of Vice Chair for 2022/23.

To appoint a Vice-Chair from North Devon Council for a period of one year from date of appointment following deferral of the decision from the previous meeting held on 12th May 2022.


RESOLVED that Councillor Tucker be appointed Vice Chair of the Joint Committee for the municipal year.


Building Control Business Update. Report by Principle Building Surveyor - North Devon Council (attached). pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Additional documents:


The Principle Building Surveyor for North Devon Council provided an update (circulated previously) regarding the Building Control Business update.


He advised that Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) activity reports were not currently available to publish and were not included in the report. He added that once they were available a copy would be provided for circulation. Due to the depleted resources within the service it was evident from the information that was currently available that the capacity to maintain plan checking times was diminishing with response times slipping from an average of 7 to 10 days for April and May.


While not critical at the current time, the figures represented the significant efforts staff were currently making with limited resources and it should be noted this level of performance in the allocated time could not be realistically expected to continue. Also this period was prior to validation training commencing and the spike in applications being received. Therefore it was anticipated the response time would slip further as a direct result of the resource shortage within the service structure, the validation training requirements, holiday cover, as well as the spike in workload due to the applications received that were taking advantage of the transitional arrangements for the changes in the Building Regulations. Clearly if this anticipated trend in reduced performance continued it was likely to have a detrimental effect on the market share and income.


The graphs for the remaining activity reports for April and May were attached as an appendix to the report, they indicated a strong performance in relation to number of applications received and income for the first two months of this quarter. Whilst encouraging, the high volume of activity around applications only compounds the current difficulties faced with the current resourcing issues. It was anticipated the final application numbers and income figures for June 2022 were going to very strong. This was because the date for depositing applications to take advantage of transitional provisions to the changes in the building regulations was 15th June 2022.


He explained that 424 applications had been received in the first quarter, which had a positive impact upon the finances. However, the trend for application response times was now slipping due to the increased workload and lack of resources to deliver the service.


Given the current vacant posts and increased volumes of work, individual work load remained high. In addition, the validation training had commenced and the service was now approaching the holiday session. With increased demand for the service, covering colleagues whilst they study and or were away on annual leave with a reduced workforce was becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. This was now having a significant impact on the ability to deliver the service and those pressures were directly impacting on the ability to quote for work, undertake site inspections and plan examination at the appropriate time. As reported at the last Committee Meeting, the 15th June 2022 was the deadline for submitting applications to take advantage of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Dates and locations of future meetings. To agree dates and locations of future meetings of the Committee for 2022/23.

·       Thursday 10th November 2022 at 9.30am.

·       Thursday 16th February 2023 at 9.30am.


(NOTE: Unless otherwise agreed the Joint Committee must meet at least on a quarterly basis with the meeting held at 10.00am and the offices of the Chairman’s partner authority).


The Joint Committee noted the scheduled dates of the meetings for 2022/23, which were scheduled to be held on the following dates:


·       Thursday 10th November 2022 at 9.30am.

·       Thursday 16th February 2023 at 9.30am.


In response to a question regarding whether the meeting dates were scheduled to ensure that financial information would be available, the Corporate and Community Services Officer advised that the dates for 2023/24 would be discussed and agreed with the accountants.