New government guidance issued covers process during lockdown
The government has told building control inspectors they should continue to carry out site inspections where construction work is continuing, despite the lockdown restrictions brought in to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
New guidance issued by the government says: “Building Control Bodies should continue to undertake normal, regular on-site inspection activity where this can be done safely, in line with Public Health England guidance.”
While it says other evidence, such as photographs, can be used where relevant to demonstrate compliance with building regulations, remote inspections “should not normally be used as the sole method of assessing compliance”.
The guidance comes despite the fact the majority of UK housing sites remain shut due to the lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.
But, with building control a key issue following the failures identified in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the government has opted to issue guidance on how to carry out inspections where work is proceeding.
At the start of the month, one of the UK’s largest private approved inspectors providing building control services, the NHBC, said site inspections should only continue where safe social distancing rules could be applied.
Since then, the NHBC has revealed it is furloughing staff in order to respond to the industry shutdown in the wake of covid-19.
The new government guidance said building control officers should, where work has been halted, “be ready to provide advice on ensuring that this is done such as to leave the building in a safe state”.