Building control policy

Contents

Context

Councils have a statutory duty to perform a Building Control function in their geographical districts. In Bassetlaw, the Council’s Building Control service ensures that the minimum standards set out in the Building Regulations are met, to secure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in or about buildings, to promote thermal efficiency, security and access for all and meet the Council’s priorities.

For 2019 – 2023 these are:

Investing in Place
Investing in Housing
Investing in Communities

The Building Control service contributes to the delivery of these priorities by promoting health, safety and sustainability in construction, maintenance and use of buildings, working with developers, agents, owners and occupiers of buildings to help them achieve the required standards at reasonable cost.

Functions

To ensure that all controllable new buildings, alterations, extensions and changes of use of premises meet with the minimum standards as laid down in the Building Regulations.

  • To ensure that measures taken in the design and construction of buildings contribute to energy efficiency.
  • To ensure that buildings contain facilities and enable access for all.
  • To provide a cost effective and efficient Building Control Service for construction industry professionals and members of the public.
  • To contribute towards the achievement of corporate ambitions.

Definition and Content of Service

“Building Control” is defined for the purposes of this document as the administrative and technical processes involved in the enforcement of statutory building standards under the mandatory provisions of the Building Act 1984 and Building Regulations (as amended).

Building Control processes include the following to ensure that, as far as practicable, buildings are erected or altered in accordance with standards prescribed in Building Regulations and allied legislation:

  • Assessment of submitted Building Regulations applications, including Full Plans applications, Building Notices, Regularisations and Reversions.
  • Determination and application of fees and charges.
  • Inspection and recording of controllable building work, and the provision of completion certificates where appropriate.
  • Maintenance of a register relating to work notified under Competent Persons Schemes.
  • Assessment of notices and certificates received from Approved Inspectors, their acceptance or rejection and the maintenance of a register of such notices and certificates as required by the Building Act 1984.
  • Provision of information and interpretation of Building Regulations requirements, including such matters as energy ratings, expiry of applications, relaxations/dispensations, advance payments, fire precautions and housing returns.
  • Ensuring dangerous buildings are made safe.
  • Ensuring demolition work is conducted safely.
  • Assisting the Fire & Rescue service in the execution of their duties to ensure public safety.
  • Providing advice on construction related matters to promote good practice.
  • Where necessary, ensuring compliance through enforcement action.

Meeting Customer Requirements

Within the resources available, every effort will be made to meet the needs of customers.

To achieve this, the Building Control service will:

  • Provide access to our services in person, by telephone, e-mail, and letter.
  • Work towards the provision of digital services that meet corporate objectives and national guidelines of good practice.
  • Take account of, and accommodate the needs of service users with regard to access to information, and operate our service in accordance with the Council’s Diversity and Equality Policy.
  • Welcome and listen to customer feedback, and use it to improve our service.
  • Investigate any complaints in accordance with the Council’s Corporate Complaints Policy and Procedure.
  • Publish this policy on the Council’s website and make it available on request.

General Practices and Procedures

The Council’s Constitution specifies how decisions are made and what procedures are followed, and assigns delegated authority to managers who determine day-to-day practices and procedures.

Building Control is guided by the following principles:

  • act in accordance with this Policy and all relevant Council policies;
  • contribute to and reflect relevant Council strategies and ambitions;
  • operate in accordance with relevant legislation;
  • comply with the standards set out in “Building Control Performance Standards”, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government;
  • observe the practices and standards established by the District Surveyors Association and Local Authority Building Control;
  • respond to service requests in a timely manner, taking into consideration:
    • the extent of resources available and the proportion which is it considered reasonable to allocate to building control, having regard to the quantity and complexity of building work within the district. In the event of a civil emergency, disruption in business continuity or significant temporary imbalance of workload and human resource capacity it will be necessary to prioritise service provision;
    • the broad basis of performance for which resources have been allocated - flexible enough to allow building control staff to operate using their professional skill and judgement, with guidelines to qualify the proposed performance standard;
    • the adequacy of the establishment both in number and in level of qualification and experience, to enable the standard to be achieved.

Fees and Charges

Fees and charges applicable to provision of the Building Control service are guided by The Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010 and The Scheme for the Recovery of Building Regulations Costs and Associated Matters for Bassetlaw District Council, which will be published on the Council’s website.

The level of fees and charges will be reviewed annually and approved by elected Members, who have authority to do so in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

Performance

The Building Control service will operate and be evaluated in accordance with the Council’s performance management reporting arrangements.

Processes include:

  • Corporate plan
  • Service delivery plan
  • Financial management
  • Risk management
  • Employee appraisal, training and development
  • Absence management
  • Information Technology policy
  • Data Protection policy
  • Performance monitoring
  • Prioritisation and strategic management
  • Complaints procedure

Review

This policy will be reviewed in the event of, for example, significant changes to legislation, corporate ambitions or objectives, new guidance or best practice, availability of suitably qualified staff, volume of building work in the district; otherwise at intervals not exceeding three years.


Last Updated on Wednesday, July 22, 2020