Our policies and standards - what we do for you
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Building control policy
The council is of the opinion that the building regulation function can only be effectively performed on the under-mentioned basis, allowing operation to be exercised by building control staff using their professional skill and judgment, and subject to workload and staff availability.
The building control policy is available here.
The primary function of the building control service is to protect people’s health and safety in the built environment. This involves, among other things, enforcing the following legislation:
- the Building Act 1984
- the building regulations and other allied legislation
- the London building Acts (Amendment Act) 1939 (or superseding similar legislation)
- the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975
- Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987
In so doing, we aim to enforce in an equitable, practical and consistent manner.
The building control enforcement policy is available to view here.
Building control performance standards
Click to see the national building control performance standards set by the DCLG.
Our service standards
A set of service standards have been produced to provide information on what you can expect from the building control service.
The quality of service we offer is important. We try to offer a consistent quality service to all clients:
- Most building control officers hold a relevant qualification, which cover a wide range of disciplines including surveying, structural engineering, public health and fire engineering. There are many years of experience available to call on and our officers regularly attend training courses to ensure that they are up to date with modern methods of construction. A multi-functional service is offered covering structures, fire precautions, services, drainage and where appropriate liaison with other council departments may be carried out to offer a team approach
- A progressive approach is adopted to help you obtain the best possible value for money. We will consider all new methods and materials of construction, based on our own experience and, if necessary, other expert advice
- Maximum use of new technology is made and state of the art software to check engineer's calculations as well as other aspects of the proposed work such as heat loss from buildings and energy (SAP) ratings of new buildings may be utilised to ensure a speedy and accurate response
- Extensive records on properties are maintained so that future owners can plan further works with confidence. This also means that prospective purchasers can ensure that work carried out in the past has been inspected and approved. This information can also be analysed to give prior warning of any potential problems particularly in relation to ground conditions
- Close liaison is maintained with building control offices in other local authorities through LABC to share our experience and exchange knowledge and information on a national level
Building control customer charter
- provide an independent, publicly accountable, mobile, flexible and professional service through well trained surveyors and office staff
- deal with you with honesty, courtesy and professionalism
- provide a same day inspection service for all requests received before 10.00am with timed appointments by arrangement with Surveyors
- provide you with the name and phone number of the surveyor who is dealing with your project
- acknowledge your application within 3 working days
- provide a pre-application consultancy service
- endeavour to check all Full Plan applications within 10 working days, telling you amendments needed to comply with the building regulations or requesting more information
- provide a prompt and efficient service for inspections of work which can be programmed to customer requirements
- provide a certificate within 5 working days of satisfactory completion
- make our Surveyors and office staff as accessible as possible, through land lines, mobile phones and email
- set our charges on a NON profit basis aiming to just recover our costs
- provide specialist advice on structural
- deal with any complaints openly and speedily
What we would ask from you in return:
- to communicate with us in a courteous manner
- give us as much information and evidence as possible that shows you meet the requirements of building regulations; particularly if this has been requested by your Surveyor
- contact Surveyors in a timely manner for the various stages of construction, particularly before you build over any important elements of the construction
- ensure that your site meets requirements for health and safety throughout including trench support, ladders, scaffolding and lighting in a way that provides safe access to the construction work;
- tell us promptly if you have carried out building work or covered over important stages of construction without notifying us or making an application
- let us know as soon as possible if you are going to miss, or be late for, an appointment with us;
- allow sufficient time between excavation inspections and ordering concrete to take any requested remedial actions
- request a completion inspection in a timely manner to ensure that you have all approvals and certificates (gas, Part P, HETAS etc) required enabling the Surveyor to sign off the application