The article “Councils start early on Tory planning overhaul” (26 February, page 10) was read with interest and concern
If the Conservatives win the next general election and scale down the Building Regulations then developers and councils will be left with little protection against the jerry builders that still exist in today’s market.
At present the regulations are robust enough to ensure the end product meets the needs of the developer or council. If we consider Part M and how much of the document needs to be adhered to then we can see the flaw in the system.
Part M states: “Reasonable provision shall be made for people to gain access to and use the building and its facilities.” This small section is the requirement, the remainder of the document is the guide to achieving it, and provided it is met then the Building Regulations are satisfied. If the Conservatives water down the regulations any more then the developers or councils will need to submit in-depth specifications and drawings outlining the smallest detail if they want to achieve a reasonable completed building.
What is needed is a robust guide on what is required of a building that is sustainable and contributes to the wellbeing of people making use of it. The guide should cover all aspects of the industry and be enforceable by law. Perhaps then we shall see not only planning departments producing planning consents quicker but also the completed product standing the test of time.