Building Regulations in Scotland

 

Background and Evidence

Background

The Local Government and Communities Committee has agreed to undertake a short, focussed piece of work on the building standards verification scheme.

The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 gives Scottish Ministers the power to make building regulations to—

  • secure the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings;
  • further the conservation of fuel and power;
  • and further the achievement of sustainable development.

Scottish Ministers re-appointed all 32 Scottish local authorities as verifiers under section 7 of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 from 2011 to April 2017. Their role is to implement the regulations set out by the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 when building work or a conversion takes place, and grant building warrants when they are satisfied the work meets requirements.

Current building warrant and associated fees are set out in The Building (Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004.

The Scottish Government launched a consultation on increasing these fees which closed on 9 January 2017 and the intention is to introduce new fees on 1 April 2017. The fees structure has not changed since 2005.

Call for Views

The Local Government and Communities Committee has today (Tuesday 7 February 2017) launched a call for written evidence from all interested parties as part of its scrutiny of the building standards verification scheme.

Organisations and individuals are invited to submit written evidence to the Committee setting out their views on the verification scheme and building warrant fees. Those submitting evidence should feel free to address any, or all, of the questions contained in the Committee's call for views.

To allow the Committee to take account of any views received, submissions should be sent no later than Tuesday 28 February 2017. Due to the focussed nature of this inquiry, please note the shorter than usual timescale for submitting views. For further details on the Committee's call for written evidence, please see the link below.

Read the call for evidence.

Online Survey

We have also produced an online survey which organisations and individuals are welcome to complete if they wish to send views to the Committee in this format. The closing date to complete the survey is Tuesday 28 February 2017. To complete the survey, please follow the link below:

The online survey closed on Tuesday 28 February 2017.

Summary of Online Survey Responses

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has produced a summary of the responses received to the online survey. This can be found at the following link:

Written Submissions

Read the written submissions received.

Summary of Written Submissions

A summary of the written submissions received by the Committee can be found at the following link:

Oral Evidence

On 3 May 2017, the Committee took evidence from the following:

  • Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive, Homes for Scotland;
  • Malcolm McLeod, Director, NHBC Scotland;
  • Stephen Kemp, President, Scottish Building Federation;
  • Dave Aitken, Local Authority Building Standards Scotland;
  • Jim Gilmour, Board Member, Federation of Master Builders Scotland.

Link to papers for meeting on 3 May 2017
Official Report of meeting on 3 May 2017 

On 14 June 2017, the Committee took evidence from the following:

  • Ross MacKay, Convener, Property Law Committee, Law Society of Scotland;
  • Kenny McKenzie, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Scotland;
  • Gilly Carr, President Elect, Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectorate of Great Britain;
  • Glenn Campbell, Building Standards Manager, Highland Council.

Link to papers for meeting on 14 June 2017
Official Report of meeting on 14 June 2017

The following written submission was also received for the meeting on 14 June 2017:

Following the meeting on 14 June 2017, the Committee agreed to further consider the evidence received to date at a future meeting, to write to NHBC Scotland and to seek a debate in the Chamber on the topic of building regulations in Scotland.

Building Regulations and Fire Safety

On 21 June 2017, the Committee considered its work programme and agreed to widen its ongoing scrutiny of building regulations in Scotland to include the safety aspect of these regulations.

Read the news release on building regulations and fire safety.

The Minister for Local Government and Housing wrote to all local authorities on 15 June 2017 to request information on current safety procedures and assessment of building stock:

The Committee wrote to the Minister for Local Government and Housing on 26 June 2017 to inform the Scottish Government that the Committee would be undertaking scrutiny of the safety aspect of building regulations:

Correspondence

On 27 April 2017, the Minister for Local Government and Housing wrote to the Convener on the re-appointment of all 32 local authorities as verifiers for their areas:

On 4 May 2017, NHBC Scotland wrote to the Convener following the oral evidence session on 3 May 2017. The Convener replied to this correspondence on 17 May 2017:

On 8 May 2017, Homes for Scotland wrote to the Convener following the oral evidence session on 3 May 2017. The Convener replied to this correspondence on 17 May 2017:

On 22 June 2017, the Convener wrote to NHBC Scotland following the evidence session on 14 June 2017:

Timetable

  • 7 February 2017: launch of call for views
  • 28 February 2017: closure of call for views
  • 3 May 2017: evidence session with stakeholders