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Popular home improvement programmes on television such as Changing Rooms and Real
Rooms could be inadvertently encouraging people to break the law, Pendle Council is

DIY enthusiasts are making changes to their properties without Building Regulations
approval which is a criminal offence, warns the Council’s Building Control Inspectors.

Jim Cooper, Principal Building Control Officer, says: “The popular home improvement
programmes on television are failing to inform viewers that they may need approval under
the Building Regulations legislation to carry out certain types of work.

“Unauthorised work to either the inside or outside of a property may only come to light
when the property is put up for sale. This can then jeopardise a sale – often at the last
minute and causes an enormous amount of heartache and even loss of money.

More importantly ignorance of the regulations can endanger their own and other peoples

Examples of work where Building Regulations are needed:
   Converting a loft
   Removing a chimney breast or an inner load-bearing wall
   Putting up an extension or altering an existing extension Installing drains or heat-
    producing appliances such as washing and sanitary facilities
   Installing gas and solid fuel heating appliances
   Installing hot water storage cylinders (none venting)
   Building a detached garage (over 30 square metres floor area)
   Adding floor screed to a balcony which may reduce the height of a safety barrier; and
   Inserting cavity wall insulation

“People tend to ask their friends at work, in the pub etc if they may need either Building
Regulations approval or planning permission. Ring us and we will tell you for sure what the
law requires. We have leaflets and booklets available free of charge at Nelson Town Hall.
Copies of Building Regulations are usually available at the library. We have large amounts
of information on the Pendle web-site www.pendle.gov.uk explaining building control.”

“We had one case recently where a man was digging a basement and ended up digging
away part of the foundations of the neighbouring house – much to the horror of the next
door neighbour.”

“You are also required by law to consult and gain permission from your neighbours if you
intend to work on or near the boundary or party walls of your house. A leaflet is available
explaining the Party Wall legislation at Nelson Town Hall.

“Building Regulations date back to pre roman times. In this country, building by-laws were
introduced after the Great Fire of London and we have had by-laws, building regulations
and building inspectors ever since. They are there to protect people – please follow them!”


For further information, please contact Jim Cooper, Principal Building Control Officer,
Pendle Borough Council. Tel: 01282 661721.

Issued by: Richard Boyd, Press & Promotions Officer, Pendle Borough Council. Tel: 01282

Date of issue: 25.05.01

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