LABC warns of building control chaos in councils

Local authorities may be unable to carry out their building control responsibilities after 6 April due to a lack of registered professionals, the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Chief Executive has warned.

In a letter sent to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Welsh Government, Lorna Stimpson said that "there are many building control surveyors who, for a variety of reasons, have not yet made an application or started their competence validation journey".

She wrote:

Despite the best efforts of LABC, the Building Safety Competence Foundation and the other two independent assessment bodies, it appears that a significant number of building control professionals will not achieve successful certification, and therefore, registration before the 6th of April deadline.

Stimpson is asking the BSR, DLUHC and Welsh government to delay the implementation of the registration of building control professionals by at least six months.

She warned the potential collapse of the building control function in local authorities would have a "wide-ranging effect on the construction industry, consumers, regulatory enforcement, and compliance".

Under this scenario, stop and compliance notices would not be served and local authorities may be unable to perform their statutory duties under the Building Act 1984, among other critical functions.

Stimpson also raised concerns about the "critical level of stress" that the impending deadline is causing on building control professionals.

She wrote:

We have already started to see an exodus from the profession of the vital expertise that we need in the coming months as part of the new regime.

We are hearing worrying reports of individuals in crisis, suffering extreme stress, anxiety and depression.

Those building control surveyors who do not achieve registration by the 6 April deadline will not be able to meet the contractual responsibilities of their role and as such might lose their jobs.

More than 4,500 practising building control professionals will need to be assessed and certified by 6 April 2024, when the building control profession will be regulated by the BSR.

From that date, individual building control professionals working in the private sector and local authorities will need to have passed an independent competence assessment and be registered with the BSR.

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Building safety