Response- Workload on Local Authorities

by Bregs Blog admin team


The Bregs Blog received an interesting and pertinent response outlining the impossible position Building Control Authorities will be placed in coming up to the annual Christmas/New Year period. The following comment response (reproduced below) was received on Saturday 5th July in connection with our post “Press: RIAI fearful Local Authorities will start “finding something to invalidate as a method of workload control” (click link here).

The writer took exception with the content an Irish Examiner article by Kyran Fitzgerald that we had reproduced wherein criticisms were made of Local Authority staff. We believe the contributor’s assessment to be correct and we are happy to publish it. The problem identified with Completion Certificates is likely to be exacerbated because there is inevitably a rush to finish certain types of building project and get them open before Christmas. This would seem to require an amendment to the Building Control Regulations.


Response- Workload on Local Authorities

Your piece [The Irish Examiner Article] about local authorities ‘finding something to invalidate’ is very unfair to those working in the Building Control Departments.

These regulations, unlike Planning, do not make any provision for Christmas-New Year or other holiday times. Planning applications don’t count the 9 days from 24 December to 1 January. This was brought in because of the rush to lodge applications on Christmas Eve which caused a spike in workload.

However this has not been included in the new Building Control (Amendment) Regulations, even though the timescales for the Local authorities are very tight and the departments much smaller.

As an example, a Prospective Completion lodged on 3 December could leave the local authority only 1 day to validate the documents and put them on the Register on 24 December!

There is no mechanism for the local authority to agree additional time, as there is with a Fire Safety Certificate or Disability Access Certificate application. So a building control officer faced with a deluge of Completion Cert documents on Christmas Eve has very few options.

This will put the building control departments, some of whom are one-man operations, in a very difficult position especially when owners are looking to occupy homes and extensions for Christmas.

The only options available, if all the files can’t all be checked in time, is to invalidate the Completion Cert or to delay the completion by asking for more information.

Breg Blog Note: We suggest readers contact the respective professional bodies with any concerns or queries regarding material in the press article. 

Other posts of interest:

Time to increase housing supply | Irish Examiner – click link here

Commencement Notice figures 25th June 2014 – click link here

BC(A)R SI.9- BCMS: “must do better” – click link here

Building Control Officers: Survey – click link here

Building Control Officers need help! BC(A)R SI.9 – click link here

Building Control Officer issues: Conference April 2014- click link here

‘Recovery’ is Still Worse than the 1980s Crisis – click link here

Engineers Ireland CPD 10th June – click link here

Irish Times: Dramatic fall in number of buildings being started – click link here

Commencement notices fall: BC(A)R SI.9  – click link here