Former Environment Minister Phil Hogan
The BRegs Blog was started in November 2013 as a forum for those interested to debate
the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (BCAR) that were introduced on March 1, 2014.
In light of the Longboat Quay situation, this morning the blog writes:
It looks like there is a growing realisation that our new system of “reinforced” self-regulation i.e. BC(A)R SI.9 introduced in March 2014 will do little to prevent another Longboat Quay.
…As Minister for the Environment, before he decamped to Brussels as EU agriculture commissioner, Phil Hogan had the opportunity to remedy the situation by specifying that construction activity is monitored by suitably qualified local authority professionals, as in the past. Instead, he introduced a regime that merely requires a newly-completed building to be certified as compliant by an architect, structural engineer or other “assigned certifier”.
Widespread criticism, notably from within the architectural profession, that this would offer no real protection for buyers was blithely dismissed by Mr Hogan, who continued to insist that his light-touch approach “will provide consumers with the protection they need and deserve.”
The then minister went even further, stating in April 2013: “As soon as these regulations become operational, homeowners who encounter a problem with a building will be in a radically better place. They will be able to immediately access information which can lead them towards a solution to the problem.” …
Mr Hogan expressed his hope that the issue of latent defects insurance for construction projects would be addressed before the new regulations came into effect on March 1st last year. But this didn’t happen, with the result that residents of new apartment buildings subsequently found to be defective have no way of seeking redress for problems emphatically not of their own making. An appalling situation that must be brought to an end, and quickly.
Related: SI9 Where Do I Start? (BRegsForum)
Previously: The Longboat Of The Law