Alert to TD about new regulations

by Bregs Blog admin team


The following email was sent recently to a member of the Oireachtas by a registered professional. Names of sender and recipient have been removed by request. The blog received this on 23rd June 2014.

Dear (omitted),

I just thought I’d update you on the effect of the Building Regulations which you kindly discussed with me back in February, prior to their implementation

Rather than a rigamarole, I’d just like to point you to the effect so far of the Building Regulations as revised and delivered – it’s not by any means all good, in fact to the contrary:

  • After a burst of commencement notices being lodged prior to the start of the new regulations, commencements have fallen off a cliff. The data from the Building Control Management System is suggesting that since 1st March, only 780 projects have started (52 per week, as opposed to 143 per week last year!), of which a large proportion are less than 40 sqm.– the general trend suggesting that recovery in construction, outside of large commercial projects, is stalling : see commencement notices building register 17th june 2014
  • More worryingly, planning applications in the first quarter of 2014, are down 30% on applications in the first quarter of 2013 – this is most likely to be related to the new regulations – cso q1 2014-planning for dwellings-30
  • The introduction of the Regulations has been shambolic, and confused – leading to uncertainty

For example :

  • No guidance (or extra resources) given to local authorities – leading to 34 different interpretations of the requirements to comply :
  • The computer portal has already failed to deliver on its promise – commencement notices for smaller projects have to printed off from it, but submitted in hand to the local authority, it doesn’t check qualifications of those using it, nor does it seem to verify identities ! bcar-must-do-better
  • The computer portal is not even set up to deal with the submissions required for completing a building – how could this be allowed into the wild beggars belief ? build in 8 hours wait 3 weeks for a completion cert

This just refers to the basic defiencies in the scheme,without going into how unreasonable the proposal itself is on those tasked to use it.  The contradictions within the drafting of the regs are being unravelled on an almost daily basis : si9 and the 7-day noticecaution riai warn short-form commencement notices invalid

The construction industry is too important for this not to reviewed urgently. Please do.

PS  – at a recent presentation on the BCAR, reservations were noted to the speakers, including the lady charged with delivering the BCMS computer portal. She noted that some of the difficulty was associated with the fact that neither English (nor Irish!) was the first language of the people charged with doing the programming !!! Nice to know that there wasn’t even a few bob for an Irish SME out of this shambles. (breg blog note : for this post- see here)

Posts referred to in this email:

Commencement notices- Building Register @ 17th June 2014 – click link here

CSO: (Q1 2014) planning permissions for dwellings -30% drop – click link here

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

Build in 8 hours, wait 3 weeks for a Completion Cert! – click link here

S.I. 9 and the 7-day notice  – click link here

Caution: RIAI warn “short form” commencement notices invalid?  – click link here

Engineers Ireland CPD 10th June – click link here