The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government had been undertaking a review of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014), to include an examination of the cost burden involved for one-off houses, including self-build, and extensions to existing dwellings.
The review of the regulations by the Minister was because of what he said were “outlandish charges” being sought for the inspections required under new system.
The review examined the first 12 months of the mandatory certification requirement, and Minister of State for Housing and Planning Paudie Coffey yesterday announced amendments to the regime:
He said the changes “remove the mandatory requirement for statutory certificates of compliance in respect of a new dwelling on a single unit development or a domestic extension”.
Owners including self-builders will in future be given the choice to opt out of statutory certification and are to be allowed instead to “demonstrate by alternative means that they have met their general obligation to build in accordance with the minimum requirements of the building regulations”.
Alternative means may include the opinions of building professionals, such as architects and inspections by local authorities.
To ensure that building standards do not slip, a local authority inspection process is to be introduced. Mr Coffey said the Department of Environment would engage with the local authorities to ensure they develop the inspection capacity “over time”.
Mr Coffey said there would be with definitive targets and timelines to ensure progressive improvement by local authorities in all sectors including inspections of single dwellings, multi-unit residential developments and commercial buildings.
The mandatory requirement for certification will remain in place for all multi-unit developments.
Mr Coffey said he was satisfied the new arrangements would “level the playing field for individuals and families planning to build or extend their own home” and that they would “no longer be held to ransom by excessive quotes for design and completion certificates”.
“Owners who wish to invest in statutory certification may of course continue to do so and I believe many will do so where reasonable and affordable prices can be obtained,” he said.
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Independent News article - New rules will remove requirement for one-off homes to be inspected.
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