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Building Standards News

March 2024

Building Warrant Fees

Building warrant fees will increase from 1 April 2024 following a Scottish Government Public Consultation in 2023. Fees are being increased to support the changes being introduced to strengthen the building standards system through the work of the Futures Board programme. The new fee levels as per The Building (Fees)(Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2024 can be found on legislation.gov.uk

Please note the estimated value of works will be reviewed on assessment of the building warrant application.

Refusals

Over the past years we have all faced multiple challenges including eBuilding Standards, staffing levels and Covid 19. During this time previous management prioritised the day-to-day operations, it is for this reason there have not been any notifications of expiries, refusal deadlines etc.

Moving forward from this position we have been slowly clearing a backlog of outstanding building warrant applications. To regularise this going forward you will notice 8-month reminder warning letters appearing timeously again for new applications. If no correspondance is received within this time the refusal will be progressed on the 9-month deemed refused date. 

Technical Handbook Update - 1 April 2024 from the Building Standards Division

Following laying of regulations on 8 June this year,  Technical Handbooks are published which will implement changes from 1 April 2024.  The New Build Heat Standard begins our transition away from carbon-intensive heat solutions by preventing the use of fossil fuel and biofuel combustion appliances in new buildings. Further policy information on the New Build Heat Standard is published at www.gov.scot/publications/new-build-heat-standard-factsheet.

For more information on this, and to view the revised Technical Handbooks visit Building standards - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

Construction Compliance Notification Plans (CCNPs)

During the pandemic, Building Standards were not permitted to carry out site visits this saw a change in the way we verified works during the construction phrase through to completion. Those circumstances have now led to a dramatic increase in the submission of photographs rather than a request for an in person inspection.

It is now our preferred option that Building Standards be notified and given the opportunity to inspect works at the appropriate stages. If you wish photographs to be submitted as alternative evidence this should be agreed with the allocated surveyor in advance. Please note if no alternative evidence is agreed, this may require a disruptive inspection such as exposing buried or hidden elements of the structure.

As you may have noted we now send out a response to the start of works notification with the following guidance;

Please ensure Building Standards are notified when the stages of the works detailed within the Construction Compliance and Notification Plan have progressed to a degree in which they can be inspected. The full CCNP is issued with your warrant approval; however, I have enclosed a copy of page 2 for your convenience.

We would request that reasonable notice is given to allow us to carry out an inspection in person. However, alternative evidence may be acceptable in certain circumstances. 

Photographic evidence (where agreed)- Images must show the element of the build you are evidencing, be clearly defined and show all critical dimensions. It is commonplace to hold a tape measure against the same for clarity.

Where it is agreed that photographs are to be submitted, these should ideally be uploaded in a single document via the online portal. Please do not e-mail photographs direct to the allocated Surveyor.

Given the above, and in order to limit potential disruption, I trust this information will be of assistance to you going forward.