Strategies and policies (building control)
Building Control Enforcement Policy
Our primary function is to ensure that all building, demolition and dangerous structure works that fall under our control are dealt with in a way that will not affect people’s health, safety and welfare.
We believe in prevention rather than cure. We are always willing to offer advice about the best ways of ensuring your project is compliant, before and during building works. Achieving compliance only after a project is completed may work out to be costly. We use formal enforcement procedures laid down in the Building Regulations and The Building Act.
Our Enforcement policy has been prepared in accordance with the Cabinet Office Enforcement Concordat. This means that when carrying out enforcement, we will:
- be open about our actions
- be fair and impartial
- take a consistent yet flexible approach
- be considerate to people who complain
- treat matters with proportionality
- help service users wherever possible.
It should be recognised primarily that it is the designers, builders and building owners’ responsibility to ensure that they comply with the Building Regulations and associated legislation.
When deciding on the degree of enforcement to issue, we will consider:
- the seriousness of the offence in terms of its impact on people’s health, safety and welfare
- the previous history of the offender(s)
- the consequences of non-compliance
- likely effectiveness of various enforcement options
We could then take a range of actions:
- take no action
- take informal action
- take emergency action to carry out the work
- serve a statutory notice
- take action in default
- prosecute through the Criminal Court
Where emergency action becomes necessary we will make every effort to inform the owners before carrying out the work. Criminal prosecutions may follow where there has been a serious offence or blatant disregard of the legislation.
All written or verbal communication will contain clear instructions as to what is required. It will say which legal requirements have not been met, what needs to be done to comply, and any alternatives that will be considered.
A clear distinction will be made between what is goodwill advice and what is a statutory requirement. Where appropriate, reasonable and realistic time limits will be set to allow remedies to be carried out.
Where there is an appeal procedure against a formal notice, this will be clearly explained and any time constraints made apparent.