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PAYING FOR UNWANTED EXTRAS

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technical & practice

An onerous provision mooted under the new Part L: 2005 consultation, and given power by the passing of the Sustainable and Secure Buildings Act 2004, suggests that work requiring building control approval might be subject to the demand for additional upgrading to other parts of the building for the purposes of making the structure secure or more sustainable, writes Austin Williams.

This might involve work deemed to help conserve fuel and power and reduce emissions. There is the potential scenario, for example, that an owner is required to upgrade windows, boilers or loft insulation when having some other unrelated work, like a domestic conservatory, carried out on a property.

Currently, it is suggested that for works over £8,000 (relating to commercial and domestic projects), building control can insist on an additional 10 per cent spend on items it believes can improve CO 2 emissions, insulation standards, energy efficiency and so on. If you refuse to set aside the necessary funds, it can and will withhold approval. The sort of work that might need to be done is outlined in Housing Energy Efficiency Good Practice Guide 171 (see www. est. org.uk/bestpractice/uploads/publications/pdfs/gpg171. pdf).

Ant Wilson, director of Faber Maunsell, who is acting as receiving agent for Part L consultees, says the main criticism of the consultation terms received to date has been that this figure of £8,000 is too low. It seems, therefore, that, in some form or other, this onerous requirement may well be implemented in mid-2005.

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