New Inspection Guidelines for Self Builds to be published shortly – BREEN

March 3rd, 2015 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen T.D. has received from confirmation from the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Paudie Coffey T.D. that new inspection guidelines for self builds are to the published shortly.

Deputy Breen raised this matter by way of parliamentary question and following concerns that inspections are costing up to €6,000 which is placing a considerable burden on people building their own homes.
“I am very pleased that new inspection guidelines for self builds are to be published shortly. The new regulations were introduced last year to ensure a more practical risk based approach to inspections in order to reduce the incidences of defective works which had occurred previously. The reality is that the problems arose in the construction of large schemes and I believe that a more common sense approach is now required for people who are building their own homes and this is particularly relevant in terms of the construction of one-off housing in rural areas.
The problem which has arisen is that people who had built up many years of experience feel that they are excluded under the current system and as a result the cost of inspections for the people looking to build has increased. It is important that this is addressed and that skilled works are allowed to build one off homes, without incurring additional or unnecessary costs.
These new guidelines will be published shortly when the Minister is also set to announce a review of the statutory instrument relating to inspections with a report to be finalised by the second quarter of 2015.
I welcome the Minister’s commitment to address the needs of people building one-off homes and I look forward to the publication of the full report following the review of the statutory instrument which I hope will contain further proposals that will benefit owners and builders of one off homes.”
ENDS
See response to parliamentary question underneath for your information.
Question No. 586

Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to amend the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 to address the concerns in relation to self-builds; and if so, the timeframe he envisages for bringing any such amendments before the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Pat Breen.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 24th February, 2015.

Ref No: 8109/15

REPLY

Minister of State for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Paudie Coffey)

The Building Control Act 1990 places a statutory obligation on owners, designers and builders to design and construct buildings in compliance with the requirements of the Building Regulations. Following public concern with regard to the widespread failure to comply with regulatory requirements in all sectors of the construction industry, the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 9 of 2014) were introduced to strengthen the arrangements in place by requiring greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations. Over 5,000 construction projects have commenced to date since the new regulations took effect on 1 March 2014 and thus require statutory certification of design and construction, lodgement of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates.

I n relation to the self – build sector I refer to the reply given in response to Questions Nos. 541 and 542 of 18 December 2014. Price is determined by market forces and is therefore outside of the scope of my regulatory powers. Nevertheless, I recognise the importance of ensuring that the regulations do not impact unduly on the self-build sector, particularly in relation to cost. As indicated previously, my Department, in conjunction with the Housing Agency and the construction professional bodies, is currently finalising additional guidance on an appropriate inspection plan for a typical single dwelling. This guidance will be helpful in better informing the market in relation to offering realistic and appropriately priced professional services for such work.

I also intend to announce details of the imminent review of S.I. No. 9 of 2014 early next month. A full report on the matter will be produced by the second quarter of 2015 and will inform further regulation in this critical area. I will arrange for a copy of the report to be made available in the Oireachtas Library in due course.