Commencement Notices | 6 months after S.I. 9
by Bregs Blog admin team
The Building Control Management System (BCMS) is now six months old and published its first half-year Building Register on Thursday 4th September 2014 at 8.31 a.m. The Building Register records all of the validated Commencement Notices or ‘proposed building starts’ received by the 34 Building Control Authorities throughout Ireland.
The Building Register now records a figure of 2247 as the total number of validated Commencement Notices received over the past 26 weeks since the introduction of the BCMS on 1st March 2014. This would be equivalent to an annual figure of approximately 60% of the 7,456 Commencement Notices submitted in 2013 which was one of the lowest figures in decades. Since the implementation of S.I.9 the average number of commencement notices being lodged is 86 per week. In 2013 the average number lodged per week was 143. These are worrying figures for a Government trying to kick-start the recovery of the construction sector and house building in particular.
Of the 2247 Commencement Notices received, 676 (30%) appear to be ‘Short Form’ notices (small projects where an Assigned Certifier is not required) and 133 of the Commencement Notices are for 7-day notices in relation to Fire Safety Certificates. It is noted that 104 of the Commencement Notices on the Building Register appear to have no certifier status or are recorded as ‘Tests’.
There is clear evidence that some of the Commencement Notices currently being submitted are repeat notices for Commencement Notices submitted earlier this year ahead of the introduction of S.I. 9 to try and avoid the implications of the legislation. There is no evidence from other sources that there was any equivalent spike in building tenders in the earlier part of the year that would indicate that all of these ‘commencement notices’ were actual ‘building starts’. Where works had not commenced before the end of March it would be necessary to resubmit a Commencement Notice if an actual building was to start construction.
This ‘double entry’ is leading to further confusion in the construction industry as to the actual number of project starts in 2014 which appears to be heading for record lows for a variety of reasons including the cost implications of the introduction of S.I. 9.
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