Architect or Builder issue? with planning enforcement issue? Any help welcome.

Joined
31 May 2016
Messages
7,776
Reaction score
894
Country
United Kingdom
Ultimately its the clients responsibility to ensure the building was constructed lawfully according to the planning permission. I had a similar experience myself. Single story extension, neighbour objected, builder "couldn't source" the shallow pitch tiles so opted for a flat section and steeper pitch and added another foot to bottom section to make it look better. Architect hadn't done a great design job. All changes discussed with me. I preferred the design as it would make getting a ladder up easier. Neighbour notified enforcement. Enforcement said, apply for amendment, it will be approved and we wont charge you. Neighbour objected, permission approved. Neighbour escalated a complaint. Enforcer said we'd have approved it anyway up to 4m no matter what.

Lesson learned don't let your mrs (now ex-mrs) run her own projects, leaving you to fix the mess. I never wanted the extension anyway, primarily because I thought it would annoy the neighbours. And it did. She is now left watching her neighbour develop the mother of all wrap around ground floor extensions, right up to the boundary.
 
Joined
22 Dec 2005
Messages
2,447
Reaction score
354
Location
UK
Country
United Kingdom
o_O

So can I tell the judge that it's actually Ford's fault for building the car I drove incorrectly?
Its not quite the same thing. If ford built a car and sold it to you as a road legal car which was then determined not be to road legal for some reason, then yes, you could blame ford.

The architect has drawn the building regs drawings which the builder built to differently to the one that was submitted for planning. If the builder had actually built to those drawings then you couldn't blame the builder if the extension didn't comply with the planning drawings.

However, the builder has built higher than the drawings he was provided with, so both the builder and the architect are at fault, with the client at fault for not coordinating properly.

A buggers muddle and unfortunately an example of what can go wrong when friends do favours.
 
Joined
3 Sep 2006
Messages
36,190
Reaction score
5,055
Location
West Mids
Country
United Kingdom
Its not quite the same thing. If ford built a car and sold it to you as a road legal car which was then determined not be to road legal for some reason, then yes, you could blame ford.

The architect has drawn the building regs drawings which the builder built to differently to the one that was submitted for planning. If the builder had actually built to those drawings then you couldn't blame the builder if the extension didn't comply with the planning drawings.

However, the builder has built higher than the drawings he was provided with, so both the builder and the architect are at fault, with the client at fault for not coordinating properly.

A buggers muddle and unfortunately an example of what can go wrong when friends do favours.
No. When I draw plans they are correct, and Its nothing to do with me if the builder then ignores them and freestyles on a whim.
 
Joined
31 May 2016
Messages
7,776
Reaction score
894
Country
United Kingdom
A qualified architect (as a professional) has a duty in tort to exercise reasonable skill and care. It could be argued that a mistake made transferring the high level design for planning in to a detail BC drawing was a failure. Have we established in this thread that the architect was responsible for both? The case of https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2017/254.html gives good guidance on "free work", but its important to note that these two parties had a history of extraordinary generosity to each other. Ultimately the costs ran over 1m and because the architect had offered settlement which wasn't beaten in the ruling, the claimant got lumbered with the costs. Win but lose.

There does seem to be a lot of cut and paste in this industry and that is where mistakes happen. In my case the architect designed an interface to a solid wall using a cavity wall representation. Not much skill and care. Again - who project managed the build? Was the architect involved after the planning approval?
 
Joined
22 Dec 2005
Messages
2,447
Reaction score
354
Location
UK
Country
United Kingdom
No. When I draw plans they are correct, and Its nothing to do with me if the builder then ignores them and freestyles on a whim.
If your plans are correct, then it is nothing to do with you. However, if you issue two drawings, one for the planning application with the roof at one height, and then another set of drawings for building controls with the roof at a different height, then it becomes your problem, even if the builder makes himself also liable by freestyling.
 
Joined
23 Feb 2012
Messages
10,544
Reaction score
1,718
Location
Manchester
Country
United Kingdom
It's a combination of both. However, you have no commercial liability from your architect though as you didn't pay them.

Which drawings did the builder build to?
Even though the architect didn't charge a fee, I suspect she is still liable (assuming the architect is found at fault). She had a duty of care to the OP.

PS is she actually an Architect with a capital 'A', or someone who draws building plans; if she is registered with the ARB, she should have insurance. But to many people, anyone who draws plans is an architect, but there is a distinction.
 
Last edited:
Joined
31 May 2016
Messages
7,776
Reaction score
894
Country
United Kingdom
I would love to see a photo of this extension. I still find it odd that the enforcer is wanting it changed, rather than a planning amendment. Has the OP considered a retrospective application? The build must be so imposing on the neighbours rights that there is no alternative to enforcement. There has been some very public monstrosities that haven't been enforced.
 
Joined
22 Dec 2005
Messages
2,447
Reaction score
354
Location
UK
Country
United Kingdom
Even though the architect didn't charge a fee, I suspect she is still liable (assuming the architect is found at fault). She had a duty of care to the OP.

PS is she actually an Architect with a capital 'A', or someone who draws building plans; if she is registered with the ARB, she should have insurance. But to many people, anyone who draws plans is an architect, but there is a distinction.
As the architect did the work for free, it's likely that it would be outside of their insurances.

Secondly, would you really want to make a claim against a friend that did the work for free, even if they've made a mistake? Smells wrong to me, particularly as the OP had the opportunity to check the work along the way.
 
Joined
21 Jan 2007
Messages
20,526
Reaction score
2,471
Location
Devon
Country
United Kingdom

I don’t charge for the small amount of advice I give in my local community. Do I still need PII?

It makes no difference whether a professional person provides advice for a fee, for benefits in kind, or free of charge – they still have a duty of care to their client. They are exposed to potential liabilities and may be sued for negligence.
 
Joined
25 May 2022
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
Thank you for all your comments. What I dont understand is, that if the builder has built something that is not on ANY drawings.... how can the architectural technician be liable! Surely he's built what he wants without looking at the drawings! Even if they were different between planning & building regs!
 
Joined
22 Dec 2005
Messages
2,447
Reaction score
354
Location
UK
Country
United Kingdom
Thank you for all your comments. What I dont understand is, that if the builder has built something that is not on ANY drawings.... how can the architectural technician be liable! Surely he's built what he wants without looking at the drawings! Even if they were different between planning & building regs!
You're entirely right. The builder has built something not on either set of plans. He's liable to the tune of 3 courses of bricks which is the difference between the architects highest drawing and what he's actually built.

However, he is not solely liable.

Who agreed to the revised roof design that he built?
 
Joined
25 May 2022
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
You're entirely right. The builder has built something not on either set of plans. He's liable to the tune of 3 courses of bricks which is the difference between the architects highest drawing and what he's actually built.

However, he is not solely liable.

Who agreed to the revised roof design that he built?
No one!
 
Joined
31 May 2016
Messages
7,776
Reaction score
894
Country
United Kingdom
We also don't know which bit is the straw that broke the camels back so to speak from enforcement.
An architect could easily offer a remedy of a retrospective plan plus approval - zero damages

There is so much more to this than is being shared and that is fine. If I was in the OPs shoes, I would:
1. negotiate with the enforcer for the minimal re-work/retrospective approval etc and be very clear why what has been built would not be approved.
2. possibly seek the help of a firm who can appeal the enforcement - lots of specialists about
3. Negotiate a remedy with the builder on the basis he did not carry out the work to plan.

Know that proving liability against the Architect and the Builder is not straight forward.
- What was the scope of the work?
- on what basis was the builder hired?
- what were the implied terms?
- what defence would the builder have that the client was responsible for project management and they would expect them to raise deviations.
- what defence would the architect have that it was free job for drawing only and they expected the friend to check everything and appoint a PM.

In the case I linked while no contract (scope) existed for the architect (who was also project manager) the expectation was, of future work, so "consideration" existed to some level. Here I see nothing connecting the architect to the project beyond the plans.
 
Joined
25 May 2022
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
Enforcement have said they want a minimum of 4/5 bricks off which means removing the roof entirely. The roof is felted, roof light fitted, essentially finished.New plans have gone in taking off 2 bricks after a conversation with a planning consultant. Neighbour is opposing plans saying they have removed her light and the build is over bearing! Thats the gist of it!
 
Joined
1 May 2018
Messages
955
Reaction score
212
Country
United Kingdom
and just built the parapet on top of that!
I spotted this. We haven't seen pictures, but is there any chance that removing/lowering the parapet and changing the detail would be enough to satisfy the planners?

Repeating what others have said, if the extension still falls within the planning guidance rules, 45 degree light rules etc, it still might be worth retrospectively putting in the amendments and challenging them to refuse and enforce

And also to reinforce what has been said earlier, in any contractual arrangement it is essential to understand who has design responsibility - is the builder on a "design and build" which as a condition means he is responsible for meeting the building regulations and complying with the planning drawings, or is the builder solely building to client's designs with the client taking design responsibility?
 
Last edited:

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top