Brian Stanley TD, Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government, has expressed concern over the impact of the new statutory Building Regulation.
It is due to come into force on March 1 and will require new standards of compliance with existing regulations, and that builders be proved ‘competent’.
Deputy Stanley said:
“Everyone agrees that the construction sector needs to be regulated, and is already subject to inspection by qualified persons. I have stressed that those regulations need to be enforced, as with the use of pyrite and what happened at Priory Hall and in other developments. I have also stressed that the primary responsibility for such regulation and inspection should rest with the Department of the Environment and local authorities.
“The new regulations require that the person who approves a building must be registered with the Construction Industry Federation. It appears to me that this is an attempt to absolve the state of responsibility in these matters.
“The builder must also be proven to be a ‘Competent Builder’. I would be concerned that this will have a massive impact on people who build their own homes employing local tradespersons.
“Self-built homes currently account for 60% of houses built, and apart from providing families with cheaper homes, also provide much needed local employment in rural areas.
“Given that the Government recently announced ambitious plans to expand the construction sector I would question whether they have fully thought out the impact of the new regulations.”