Welby warns of higher costs and red-tape under new building regulations

Excessive red tape, higher costs, and the exclusion of professional engineers and architects with decades of experience, will result under the Government’s new building regulations.

Independent Connemara councillor Thomas Welby has expressed “serious concerns” in relation to the Building

Control (Amendment ) Regulations 2013 which are to come into force on March 1 next year.

The new regulations deal with the design and construction of new dwellings, extensions to dwellings involving a total floor area no greater than 40sq m, and Part III which deals with fire safety certificates.

According to Cllr Welby, the regulations will introduce a “huge amount of certification”, all of which has to be certified by chartered architects, engineers, or building surveyors and builders listed by the Construction Industry Federation.

As a result,

“a large numbers of competent engineers and architects”, who currently apply for planning, on behalf of clients, and

then supervise

the construction to completion, will be excluded.

“The exclusion of professional engineers and architects, some with decades of experience, who haven’t achieved chartered status

is possibly discriminatorily,” said Cllr Welby.

The Department of the Environment has informed the Oughterard based councillor that it is the responsibility of the CIF to compile the list of “competent builders” but he has been informed that this process has not commenced yet.

Cllr Welby also warned that the regulations will add costs to any new build, and industry figures consider it will end the process of a “self build” a process that has been the preferred option of the majority of home builders in rural Ireland for decades.

“The elimination of this process alone could add substantial costs to a single rural house,” he said.

While Cllr Welby acknowledged the need for “a clear process of regulation”, he believes the Minister’s proposals “are going too far”, particularly for single rural houses and extensions.

Cllr Welby has written to Environment Minister Phil Hogan to consider the removal of these elements from the regulations. He has also raised the issue of the impact of the regulations on engineers and small builders and tradesmen and their exclusion from the complete process.

 

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