I read your news item about housebuilders being spared the need to test their houses for adequacy of sound resistance (29 August, page 13) and thought, what a shame.
Fancy expecting a poor housebuilder to prove that his building is satisfactory. The notion that a builder should bear the cost of remedial work if the house failed was said to be a worry and might delay the sale. So, are builders seeking the right to build whatever they like, to no particular standard and with no consequences if they do a bad job?

If the House Builders Federation really wants that, it does not deserve to be listened to – except to warn people to steer clear of any builder associated with it. The HBF should be proclaiming from the rooftops that it supports all efforts to improve sound insulation in houses and promote the highest standards, instead of trying to avoid meeting even the minimum standard.

Sound insulation in houses, or lack of it, is a serious problem, as many disputes between neighbours show. Ask any new house owner what their priorities are, and peace and quiet will be higher than you think. It is too late once you've moved in to discover that noise passes through the wall from next door.