Self-builders request retraction of inaccurate local authority guidelines: BC(A)R SI.9
by Bregs Blog admin team
The representative body for self-builder’s in Ireland the IAOSB have recently written to every local authority and to the Department of the Environment asking for recent inaccurate public guidance to be retracted. The public guidance document is attached after the letter below. Letter from Iaosb to Building Control Department’s regarding Building Control (Amendment) S.I 9 of 2014 to follow (extract off IASOB website):
Dear Building Control Section,
RE: Self- Builder status under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014)
I am writing to you on behalf of the Irish Association of Self Builders regarding the status of self-builders from 1st March onwards. Despite numerous written from Minster Phil Hogan to questions asked on our behalf by other TD’s the status of our members remains vague.
We have been informed by attendees that at an Engineer’s briefing on January 17th 2014 the consensus view of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Department of the Environment (DOE) and Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) representatives was that self-building would no longer be possible from 1st March onwards. Hubert Fitzpartick of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF Director of Housing) confirmed this position that self-building would end on 1st march (interview on January 23rd 2014).
Contrary to this in numerous written answers to TD’s you have stated that self-building can continue as before under SI.9. John Graby, the Director of the RIAI stated that self-building was possible under BC(A)R SI.9 in an interview on 6th February 2014.
We have read with dismay recent Local Authority public guidance on BC(A)R SI.9. It is unfortunate that a recent local authority guidance to the public on Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014) would appear to be inaccurate and contradictory. Given that we have less than 2 weeks before the implementation date of 1st March, incorrect information is of no assistance to members of the public and professionals who are scrambling to adapt to the new regulation.
Reading item 22 together with 11 and 12 it would appear that Local Authorities may deem owners that undertake the role of builder on commencement compliant, provided the completion certificate is signed by a “Builder”- a “Director of Principal of a building company”. This could indicate that a completion certificate provided by a competent “builder”(someone not involved in the build or inspection during construction) could be satisfactory compliance with SI.9. So we now have the unacceptable situation where we have the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government at odds with his Department with different interpretations of the regulation, the CIF and the RIAI also with different opinions (two key stakeholders) and finally local authorities who issued different guidelines again on the status of the self-builder under BC(A)R SI.9.
Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 OF 2014) of course has not changed and the completion certificate for a builder states “to be signed by a Principal or Director or of a building company only”.
We the Irish Association of Self Builders, have sought independent legal advice on the status of self-builders under Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9 of 2014). Our legal advisor confirmed that the sentence “to be signed by a Principal or Director or of a building company only” is the applicable section that has been signed into law. If that sentence is not removed or changed to include building owner, then the building owner may find themselves with legal actions taken by or against them should they go ahead and sign the certificate as the builder. The document Building Control (Amendment) Regulation SI.9 of 2014 was passed in to law by the Minister on the 15th of January 2014 and it can not be changed for individual cases.
On behalf of our members we request that you formally retract this guidance document and correct any public statements regarding concerning the status of the self-builder; we believe your public guidance is misleading and bring local authorities into disrepute. We will also be writing requesting a formal correction from Minister Hogan and the RIAI that have issued conflicting and misrepresentative advice on this matter also. Why we are not afforded the courtesy of a correct and legally accurate response and guidance to our one simple question “can self-building continue after 1st March”? What has been given up to now is not acceptable to our members and to the citizens of this country affected by this legislation.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Irish Association of self Builders
Link to Letter from Iaosb to Building Control Department’s: