Contains Confidential or NO
Title Joined Up Working in Building Control
Responsible Officer Director, Built Environment
Author Sean Cummins, Building Control Manager
Portfolio(s) Councillor Hitesh Tailor
For Consideration By Regulatory Committee
Date to be Considered 21st June 2011
Implementation Date if Not Applicable
Not Called In
Affected Wards All
Keywords/Index Joined-Up Working; Enforcement; Building Regulations.
Purpose of Report:
Information report to explain the measures undertaken by Building Control to ensure Joined Up
Working with other Local Authority Services.
The Committee is asked to note the value provided by Building Control being part of the
2. Reason for Decision and Options Considered
Report is for Information only
1. The Building Control service examines architectural drawings and carries out site
inspections to ensure that minimum standards of health and safety, conservation of fuel
and power and facilities for persons with disabilities are maintained in buildings. Projects
covered vary in size from domestic extensions to major developments such as Dickens
2. Persons wanting to undertake building work are required to make an application to
Building Regulations to check that the proposed work are in accordance with the Building
Regulations 2010. A fee is payable to cover the cost of work carried out by building
control. When the work has been completed satisfactorily a Final Certificate is issued.
3. As an alternative to using Ealing Building Control, residents or developers can employ a
private sector Approved Inspector who will serve an ‘Initial Notice’ on the Council before
building work starts. On completion of the work the Approved Inspector serves a Final
Notice on the Council, which ends their involvement in the property. If an Approved
inspector uncovers contraventions, which cannot be resolved, then the work must be
passed back to the Local Authority for enforcement action.
4. Although Approved inspectors do offer an alternative I believe that Local Authority
Building Control (LABC) provides a better quality service for the following reasons
A one stop shop approach which allows us to use our close links with other council
departments and agencies as part of a development team approach to streamline the
building control process.
Pre-Submission advice, which can reduce the need for redesigns, avoids delays,
reduces project costs and includes liaison with other council departments.
Local knowledge of site constraints, Local Acts, past history of sites and geological
A responsive and comprehensive inspection service, fast response to inspection
requests and locally based inspection team.
Plan checking with a fast turn around particularly when combined with a pre-
submission consultation and attendance at design team meeting.
The Local Authority remains accountable due to its public status and whilst not profit
motivated the service is fully aware of the needs of business.
The new building control fee structure enables Ealing Building Control to be more
competitive with our fee charges and offer better value for money to our customers.
Further information is included under Item 6 Value for money.
5. The Building Control service is organised around an East and West inspection team, a
Special Projects/Partnership team and a Surveying Support team. (See Appendix A
6. The inspection teams carried out over 12,000 site inspections last year to ensure that the
requirements of the building regulations were met on site. Where possible the inspection
teams work within smaller “patches” to offer greater consistency to residents and builders
7. The Special Projects/Partnership team checked over 1100 Full plans applications last
year for compliance with the building regulations. These applications included some of
the largest projects in the boroughs such as Dickens Yard and the BBC Costume Store,
Victoria road. This figure also includes 180 applications checked under the Local
Authority Partnership Scheme for work within other boroughs. This scheme allows Ealing
building control to check our partners design drawings for projects anywhere in England
and Wales. The fees income from these partnership applications was in excess of
8. We are the process of employing an Apprentice who will initially work within the surveying
support team before progressing into the West area inspection team. Subject to
performance and budget we aim to continue to support the Apprentice through to NVQ
9. Building control provides the Councils Dangerous Structures Service, which operates 24
hrs a day 365 days a year. Reports of dangerous structures are visited within 2 hours
and assessed to determine if immediate action is required. Access to emergency
contractors is available to carry out any works necessary to make a structure safe.
The Ealing Building Control overall market share in 2010 -11 was 77% which is a slight
reduction from the 2009-10 figure of 80%.
There has been an increase in the number of domestic Initial Notices received form
Approved Inspectors in recent years from 240 in 2008-09, 368 in 2009-10 and 561 in 2010-
11. This is largely due to some of the Approved Inspector changing their focus from large
commercial work, which has declined since the credit crunch, to smaller domestic work,
which they have traditionally ignored. Movements in the market share are being monitored
and strategies are being developed to limit any further loss and regain customers where
Joined up working
1. Building control work closely with other departments within the Council to ensure effective
enforcement of statutory legislation. Information sharing with other departments covers
areas such as
Reporting of work requiring planning permission or where the permitted development
rights have been exceeded.
Reporting of houses in multiple occupation and occupation of unauthorized detached out
buildings as dwellings.
Reporting hazards on the pavements/highways such as building materials, scaffolding
2. We work closely with Planning at the early stages of planning applications through the
Development Team Approach meetings to give consistent advice to applicants and to
encourage them to use the services of Ealing Building Control as opposed to private
3. The dangerous structures team works with the Emergency Planning team to deal with
incidents involving Council owned building which have suffered some form of structural
damage that requires immediate attention
4. We have developed close relationships with EC Harris who act as Architects for school
projects within LBE holding monthly pre application meetings to give advice. Some
building control contracts for new schools projects not managed by EC Harris have been
given to Approved inspector without Ealing Building Control having an opportunity to
provide a tender for our services. This procedure does not allow the applicant to take
advantage of our services and competitive charges.
5. Building Control also work closely with external clients such as the London Fire
Emergency Planning Authority, Thames Water Utilities and those under the Local
Authorities Building Control Partnership scheme.
3. Key Implications
This report is for information only
The Building Control approved net revenue budget for 2011/12 is £8,000 (exclusive of CSA
recharges), which covers the non fee earning element of the service such as enforcement
and Dangerous Structures. Fees for the provision of building regulation service are set on a
cost recovery basis in accordance with legislation. There is no Capital Budget.
There are ‘no financial implications’ from this report.
There are no legal implications in this report
6.Value For Money
Fees for providing building regulations services are set in accordance with the Building
(Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010 on a cost recovery basis. Common categories of
work have been identified and a standard fee based on likely amount of building control work
applied. Work with an estimated cost in excess of £150,000 is quoted for on an individual
basis. Where less work is carried out on project than was originally projected a refund of
building regulations fee may be made.
Fee income must be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that income for chargeable work
equates as closely as possible to the costs incurred by the service.
Building Control is in direct competition with Approved Inspectors, which ensures that fee
charges remain competitive.
The Building Control approved net revenue budget for 2011/12 is £8,000 (exclusive of CSA
recharges). This budget covers the non-fee earning work carried out by building control such
as enforcement, dangerous structures, joint working with other departments and offers
excellent value. Dangerous structure cover is provided 24 hrs a day 365 days a year.
7.Sustainability Impact Appraisal
Building control enforces Approved Document L 2010 of the Building Regulations,
“Conservation of Fuel and Power”(ADL). Building control ensure that the insulation levels and
efficiency of services within buildings meet minimum standards. Failure to enforce this
document would lead to increases in carbon emissions from new, extended and altered
building. ADL is programmed for further reviews in 2013 and 2016 with each of the new
documents reducing the carbon emissions from new and extended building. A training review
plan is in position to ensure that all staff are fully trained in advance of any new legislation
being brought into force.
8. Risk Management
9. Community Safety
No impact on community safety.
10. Links to the 5 Priorities for the Borough
The 5 Priorities are:
Making Ealing Safer – Building control enforces the requirements of the Building
Regulations ensuring that health and safety standards within public and private
buildings are met
Securing Public Services - None
Securing Jobs and Homes None
Delivering Value for Money - Building control offers a competitive quality service for
its services to internal and external customers
Making Ealing Cleaner – None
11. Equalities, Human Rights and Community Cohesion
A full Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is not required as this is an informative report.
12. Staffing/Workforce and Accommodation implications:
13. Property and Assets
14. Any other implications:
16. Timetable for Implementation
18. Background Information
Building Regulations 2010
Building (Local Authority Charges) Regulations 2010
CIPFA guidance document (Local Authority Building Control Accounting Guidance for
England and Wales, 2010 edition)
Approved Document L1A 2010
Approved Document L1B 2010
Approved Document L2A 2010
Approved Document L2B 2010
Name of consultee Post held Date Date Comments
sent to response appear in
consultee received paragraph:
Noel Rutherford Director, Built Environment
Jimmy Umrigar Director, Legal Services 5. Legal
Matthew Bunyon Director, Finance 4. Financial
Cllr Hitesh Tailor Housing Portfolio Holder
Decision type: Urgency item?
Report no.: Report author and contact for queries:
Sean Cummins Ex 9686
First and surname, job title
Sean Cummins Building Control Manager.