Housebuilding collapse impacts on council and private building control services

The building control sector has become the latest victim of the credit crisis as local authority departments and private sector approved inspection companies announce lay-offs and bankruptcies.

Approved inspector Butler & Young is thought to have closed four offices including Chester, Cheshire and Hinckley, Leicestershire, reported Building magazine.

Building control and housing warranty provider NHBC is making 150 site-based staff redundant, 70 of whom are understood to be approved inspectors.

Paul Timmins, chairman of the Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors, also warned of an upcoming wave of bankruptcies among inspection firms, centred on smaller inspectors dealing with the housebuilding market.

Cutbacks are also likely at local authority building control departments. Paul Everall, chief executive of representative body Local Authority Building Control, told Building: 'If you talk to any local authority you will find they are under considerable pressure. If the value of projects goes down, then the building control manager needs to find ways of reducing costs accordingly. In some cases that means redundancies.'

The news came as architects announced further lay-offs. Building Design magazine reported that BDP and 3DReid had both cut about 20 jobs each, while Edward Cullinan Architects has axed three staff. Kohn Pedersen Fox, Edinburgh-based Richard Murphy Architect, Flacq and ZM Architecture have also made an unspecified number of redundancies.