Agenda item

Building Control Business Update. Report by Building Control Manager (attached).


The Joint Committee received an update by the Building Control Manager (circulated previously) regarding the Building Control Business Update.


The Building Control Manager highlighted the following:


·         Seven Surveyors sat the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) validation of fire safety expertise examination on 19th November 2019 and of those seven surveyors five passed. The successful candidates would now be issued with an individual licence by the LABC, which would enable compliance with the Council’s quality assurance system and proposed legislation regardless of the height or complexity of developments.

·         The parish allocation to Surveyors had been revised, which introduced an area of responsibility for the graduate trainee and balanced the workload between the surveyors.

·         To date there was still only four Approved Inspectors that had failed to gain reinsurance and it appeared unlikely that there would be any further casualties at the current time.

·         There were 15 reversion applications for projects left without Building Control as a result of the collapse of AEDIS. The remainder of the projects either had not started or were found to be exempt works and as a result the Initial Notices had been withdrawn.

·         A number of the projects had now been successfully completed but there were also a number with significant contraventions including the conversion of a listed hotel into 12 flats in Ilfracombe.

·         The recent regulation changes resulting from the Grenfell Tower fire included a restriction on the combustibility of items attached to façade of a building including products intended to reduce heat gain. A High Court Ruling found that the regulation was not valid due to a failure to consult adequately prior to implementation and as a result the regulation had been withdrawn.

·         With regards to the Future Homes Standard consultation and changes to Requirement L – Conservation of fuel and power and Requirement F -  Ventilation. The Building Control Manager advised that he had liaised with both North and Mid Devon Planners and was currently co-ordinating responses to that. He added that Planners believe 100% carbon emissions in production. However, Building Control were of the opinion that 100% carbon emissions should be applied at a national level, which would ensure that a type could be accepted everywhere.

·         The Council had a display stand at the Direct Contact Exhibitions Continued Professional Development (CPD) event at the Barnstaple Hotel on Wednesday 5th February 2020. The Council was organising a further CPD event in partnership with ARC Building Solutions for their clients and the provisional date for this event was Thursday 20th February 2020 and was due to be held at the Barnstaple Museum.


The Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration,Mid Devon District Council advised that each Council would have different climate emergency response plans and their views on carbon emissions would form part of those plans. She added that planning authorities felt that it was a valuable addition to the toolkit to assist Councils in their efforts to address the climate emergency.


In response to a question regarding whether the requirement to pass the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) validation of fire safety expertise examination would be mandatory, the Building Control Manager advised that it was likely that the qualification would become a mandatory requirement in terms of the low level of licences to practice on high rise buildings.


He added that the government were looking to reduce the height of high rise buildings from 18 metres down to 15 metres. However, this would not be applied retrospectively and only applicable to new buildings.


The Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration,Mid Devon District Council advised that the government had requested he statistics for the number of buildings that currently stood over 18 metres.


The Joint Committee wished to pass on their congratulations to the five surveyors that had passed the LABC validation of fire safety expertise examination.


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