House Extension - The Building Control Department and What They Do.
This arm of the Council approval and vetting service for house extensions mainly
relates to health and safety issues for building construction. They ensure that the new home extension works are up
to modern day performance and construction standards that are continually changing.
This is also the practical arm of the Council and are often a lot more flexible and pragmatic than the Planning
Dept. Many people fear the Building Inspector and their perceptions of the over zealous implementation of the
current building codes or regulations.
This is not the case for the majority of schemes. They can be let down occasionally by the new or graduate
Building Control Inspectors who have no real practical knowledge and experience of home extension building works
other than what they have learnt from college or from ‘the book’.
However, most leadership management teams of the Councils Building Control service quickly influence the ethos
of the Building Control Departments younger staff in understanding practical and technical problems that often
arise from scheme to scheme.
Several years ago the Government allowed the use of private ‘Approved Inspectors’ rather than using the Councils
Building Control Departments for approval and within a very short time most home extension Building Design Agents
and Developers were now treated as customers worth retaining rather than the bad old union days of the 1970’s and
The Council service improved no end especially as all Building Control Departments must now
be mostly self funded by the fees they bring in. In other words, if they do not have satisfied customers, they
stand to lose their job and gold plated pensions schemes with the option of retiring at 50 due to stress.
With that fairly cynical short history lesson over, my advise is to always use the Councils Building Control
services for house extension schemes as they have a lot of local valuable knowledge that private Inspectors do not
have access to (eg ground conditions, drainage etc.)