Latest building control news

Latest news from our Building Control team

COVID-19 : Building Control Inspections

We are still open for business but have had to introduce some changes to our service and the way we interact with customers to protect both you and our employees.

As the coronavirus outbreak develops across the UK, we will continue to provide you with a first-rate service, whilst also ensuring safety at all times.

LABC guidance

Based on guidance from the LABC there are some changes which will need to be put into place around site visits. These are designed to keep you, your staff and colleagues safe – whilst trying to minimise the impact coronavirus has on your business.

Change to our site inspection service

We recognise the need to balance service delivery with reduced personal contact, so where possible we will now be conducting virtual inspections. We will be asking you to provide suitable photographic evidence and any other relevant details and information. Once these have been submitted to our team we will then contact you to advise if we need any further details or if you are okay to continue with your project. Our aim is to minimise the number of site inspections but still protect the public. 

Here are some examples, though the list is not exhaustive:

Commencement – where possible we will carry this out virtually unless it is combined with a foundation inspection
Foundations – on site visit
DPC – virtual inspection
Drainage – on site visit
Floor prep’ – virtual/on-site visit
Structural works – on site visit - ideally combined with another inspection
Insulation works – virtual inspection
Roof - virtual inspection (unless entirely accessible by scaffolding)
Completions – on site visit 
General advice – provided remotely

Pre-visit safety

When booking a site inspection, we will ask you to confirm the following:

If anyone at the site (property owner or builder) to be visited has been ill and displaying the coronavirus symptoms: a new, continuous cough or a high temperature
If anyone at the site (property owner or builder) has travelled from either Italy, Spain or China within the last 2 weeks
Could the inspection be carried out in the absence of the builder / homeowner if necessary?
Will there be vulnerable people on the premises?

If anyone at the site is ill or has visited those countries, we will seek to delay our visit for a fortnight. If there are vulnerable people on the premises, a discussion will need to be had with the premises owner/manager to determine the best way to proceed in the circumstances. As with all inspections, a risk-based approach will need to be taken, in the interests of personal and public safety.

Should the current guidance change, we will let you know as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us should you wish to discuss any specific points raised.

Internal Site Inspections 

We are now able to undertake some internal inspections.  Customers are directed to the attached document which details the requirements to be in place to ensure their safety and that of our team. 
BC Inspection Procedure

Important Building Control Notice - Aedis Regulatory Services trading as Aedis - Building Control Services

In June 2019, Tendring District Council became aware that Aedis Regulatory Services, (trading as Aedis) no longer possessed the required professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance cover to directly provide their Approved Inspector role (private building control service). Thus they had reached a point where they could no longer provide a building control service to their clients.

Through no fault of their own Aedis’s clients are now required by law to cancel their initial notices and seek an alternative provider of building control services. Failure to do this can result in a prosecution. Where the works have not started the client can either use another Approved inspector, or their Local Authority. Where works have started the client can only use the Local Authority as their building control service provider.

So, what do you need to do if you find yourself in the unenviable position of having a partially completed project previously inspected by Aedis?

·         Try not to panic! We will help you as much as we can, but our ability to act as your building control provider will depend a lot on the amount of information you can give us.

·         Serve Tendring District Council Form 7 which cancels the Initial Notice. This form is available here

·         Submit a Reversion Application to Tendring District Council together with as much information as you can. Ideally we will like you to provide plans, Plan Certificates (where available), structural calculations, statutory consultations, formal agreements, specialist engineer reports etc, together with a copy of Aedis’s visits, inspections, actions and outcomes. A fee is payable to the Council and you should contact us with regards to an assessment of what our charges will be. The Reversion Application form is available here

·         Approved Inspectors are required by Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register Ltd (CICAIR) code of conduct to keep their records for a minimum of 15 years and provide details of all inspections etc when requested. We are aware that some of Aedis’s clients are experiencing problems in obtaining their records. In these instances you should contact CICAIR who may be able to assist you.

·         Once your application has been accepted you will need to contact your Building Control Officer to arrange a visit to view the works. If you have not been able to provide the information we require above you may need to open up areas of completed work for examination. We may also request further details and drawings as necessary.

·         When we are satisfied that all necessary measures and inspections have been undertaken, and that it is reasonable to do so, a completion certificate for the works will be issued.

We are aware that Aedis may not be the only Approved Inspector who is currently uninsured, however they have the largest impact in the Tendring area at this moment in time. Approved Inspectors are required to inform their clients if they become uninsured, but if you are in any doubt you can contact CICAIR.

Finally, Tendring District Council thanks all customers in advance for your patience and understanding whilst we action this important legal process and assist with your Building Regulations reversion applications.

From 2nd January 2019 , next day inspections are being introduced as long as they are booked before 4pm the previous day.  Inspections can still be booked by phone or email.  We are introducing the LABC Inspection Request App which links directly to our building control software enabling you to request an inspection at any time of the day or night.   The App is available for Apple and Android  devices and can be downloaded for free. 

Building Regulation fees for April 2020 to March 31 2021

Our fees can be found here

Changes to the Approved Documents

The following changes came into effect on 1 October 2015:

Part G - Water Efficiency

Requires estimated water use to be no more than 110 litres per person per day (instead of the normal 125 litres per person per day) where a planning authority makes it a condition of planning approval (in line with a policy in the Local Plan).

Regulation G2 has been amended to allow for the requirements to be met using a “fittings-based approach”. This allows compliance to be demonstrated without completing the Water Calculator. Compliance demonstrated if all fittings at least as efficient as specified in new Tables 2.1 and 2.2.

Part H - External Waste Storage

The design should be carefully considered  where it is in a publicly accessible place or open area. Provisions in H6 also apply where there is a change of use e.g. from a house to flats.

Part M - Access to and Use of Buildings

Part M now comes in two volumes; Volume 1: Dwellings and Volume 2: Buildings other than dwellings.

New Regulation M4 applies to new dwellings and is split into 3 parts.

M4(1) – Category 1 Visitable dwellings.

M4(2) – Category 2, Accessible and adaptable dwellings.

M4(3) – Category 3, Wheelchair user dwellings.

Provision of category 2 and 3 houses will only be required if they are stipulated in the Local Plan. The Planning Authority may ask for such provision when a planning application is submitted.

Part M Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings. Guidance in Volume 2 for buildings other than dwellings has not been changed. Regulations M1, M2 and M3 will solely apply to buildings other than dwellings. 

Part Q - Security

This is a brand new approved document and requires that reasonable provision must be made to resist unauthorised access to any dwelling, and any part of a building from which access can be gained to a flat within the building. Note that this will apply to the erection of a new dwelling and also changes of use to a dwelling.

About the Approved Documents

The Department for Communities and Local Government publishes guidance called ‘Approved Documents’ on ways to meet building regulations.

These contain:

• general guidance on the performance expected of materials and building work in order to comply with the building regulations
• practical examples and solutions on how to achieve compliance for some of the more common building situations

Part R - Physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks

This came into effect on 1st January 2017.

This Approved Document introduces a new requirement for in-building physical infrastructure which enables copper or fibre-optic cables or wireless devices capable of delivering broadband speeds greater than 30 Mbps to be installed. The requirement applies in England to new buildings and to existing buildings that are subject to major renovation works and applies both to dwellings and to buildings other than dwellings.

Last updated on: 18/09/2020 - 16:23