Institute supports government plan to empower local authorities to halt illegal or dangerous building work

Local government should have greater powers to restrain cowboy builders, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has urged.

In a submission to the Department for Communities and Local Government, the organisation backed proposals to allow local authorities to halt illegal or potentially harmful construction activity through stop notices.

The notices, which would freeze building work until steps are taken to remove or reduce the risk of harm, would have greater force than written or oral warnings, the body said.

Kevin Dawson, the CIOB's building control and standards faculty chairman, said: “This is an important step forward in preventing sub-standard work from being covered up, which can be costly, or even impossible, to rectify at a later date.

“There is a strong argument that the enforcement role of local authorities has been neglected in the past and should take much greater prominence from now on.”

The comments were made as part of government consultation The Future of Building Control, which closes today.

The CIOB also stated in its submission its support for the development of a procedural guide and for closer working relationships between UK planning and building control services.